Family wants Middleburg woman's death ruled a homicide

'Crime Watch Daily' speaks with forensics specialist about Kayla Skeen's death

By Corley Peel - Reporter

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. - Nearly five years after a Middleburg woman's death was ruled a suicide, her family is still fighting for investigators to prove it was actually a homicide.

In an episode of the TV show "Crime Watch Daily" that aired Wednesday, a forensics specialist said Kayla Skeen's 2013 death should have been ruled a homicide. 

Her mother, Drema Skeen Allen, told News4Jax that she feels relieved and that she's one step closer to proving her 20-year-old daughter's death was not a suicide and that her daughter's boyfriend killed her.

"It gives me more of the strength to keep fighting and continuing on until I can get justice for her," she said. 

The mother said her Kayla Skeen's boyfriend was the last person to see her daughter alive and the first person to find her dead.

Kayla Skeen was found dead in a wooded area in Middleburg with an electrical cord wrapped around her. According to the her mother and "Crime Watch Daily," Kayla Skeen's boyfriend told investigators that she hung herself. 

Investigators said the marks on her neck were consistent with the cord resting on the front of her throat and going up in an upward angle. 

"Crime Watch Daily" spoke with the family's private investigator, Clu Wright, and forensics specialist, Dr. William Smock, who examined Kayla Skeen's autopsy photos. 

Smock said, instead, there was a horizontal mark across the back of Kayla Skeen's neck that doesn't come from hanging. 

"There's never a doubt in my mind that Kayla did not do this," her mother said. "I want her death certificate changed. And I'm not going to stop no matter what. I want justice for my daughter."

Since the "Crime Watch Daily" episode aired, the mother said that she has not spoken to the Clay County Sheriff's Office. She said she's had difficulty getting through to the agency in the past, so she's going to wait and see if it reaches out to her. 

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