Family has trouble retrieving belongings after woman's murder

Family has trouble retrieving belongings after Maryville woman's murder

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Lori Laughtery was murdered in October. Her 14-year-old son Logan has had a hard time retrieving his belongings from her apartment. Lori Laughtery was murdered in October. Her 14-year-old son Logan has had a hard time retrieving his belongings from her apartment.
"No, it ain't worth anything to anyone else. It's not like anything anyone else would want," said Logan. "No, it ain't worth anything to anyone else. It's not like anything anyone else would want," said Logan.
"I don't know. They ought to give his stuff back though. She couldn't help it. He couldn't help it. But they took his stuff," said his grandfather Allan Finney. "I don't know. They ought to give his stuff back though. She couldn't help it. He couldn't help it. But they took his stuff," said his grandfather Allan Finney.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

MARYVILLE (WATE) - The teenage son of a Maryville woman who was killed in October has been having a hard time getting his belongings out of his mother's apartment.

With the landlord blocking the way, the boy's grandparents called 6 On Your Side for help.

Maryville police reported a murder suicide on October 14, 2013. Police say Lori Laughtery was killed by her boyfriend, Michael Kurt, who then shot and killed himself.

Laughtery's 14-year-old son Logan had been living with her in an apartment. The night of the shooting, he had been visiting his grandparents, but all of his stuff was at the apartment, including clothes, games, toys and personal items.

For months, the landlord has refused to return most of the boy's belongings which greatly distresses his grandfather, Allan Finney.

"I don't know. They ought to give his stuff back though. She couldn't help it. He couldn't help it. But they took his stuff," said Finney.

"He got rid of it for lost revenue. I think he's a mean person and needs to give me my stuff back," said Logan.

Logan's granddad says he was allowed in the apartment, but only briefly.

"He is on some medications that he has to take. The detective met me down there and he let me have that. The landlord didn't," said Finney. "I got some shoes and some clothes, gathered whatever I could get while the detective was there."

"No, it ain't worth anything to anyone else. It's not like anything anyone else would want," said Logan.

More than two months ago, Allan Finney sought assistance from Legal Aid of East Tennessee.

In a letter to the apartment owner, Ben Steinberg agreed there had been a bed, dresser and boxed clothing belonging to the teen.

Legal Aid said to Steinberg the Finneys would contact him to arrange a time to retrieve Logan's belongings. 

Allan Finney said he called the landlord. Logan says he did, too.

"He said he would call me back on the first of this month. He said he would call my Papaw back and leave him a message. We haven't heard from him since," said Logan.

Two weeks ago, 6 On Your Side went to H&H Towing, Ben Steinberg's place of business in Maryville, wanting to get his version of this emotional story, but the place was locked.

Steinberg told 6 On Your Side over the phone that he was not treated with reason and understanding by the Finneys.

"I am all about helping people out and I am more than happy to turn over the boy's belongings," said Steinberg.

Two days after our call, Logan's grandmother and her husband were allowed to enter the apartment accompanied by two of the landlord's associates.

Inside for about 15 minutes, they retrieved a bed and a dresser, but some clothes were missing.

"You know the guy knows he's doing wrong," said Vanessa Finney. "[Logan] didn't get anything that his mother or his other grandmother left him. We didn't get any pictures, we didn't get anything personal like that at all."

Ben Steinberg told us he is holding Lori Laughtery's belongings in the apartment until probate is complete.

However, the Finneys say with the expense of having to bury their daughter, and now take care of her children, financially things are tight.

They doubt if they will ever retrieve her belongings.

Lori Laughtery had no will, so legally, right now things are up in the air.

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