Father of Orlando Shooting Victim Refuses to Claim Son’s Body

These photo combination shows victims of the mass shooting that occurred early Sunday, June 12, 2016, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Top row from left are: Amanda Alvear, Angel L. Candelario-Padro, Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, Antonio Davon Brown, Christopher Leinonen, Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, Darryl Roman Burt II, Edward Sotomayor Jr., Enrique L. Rios Jr., Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera and Frank Hernandez. Second row from left are: Franky Jimmy De Jesus Velazquez, Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, Jason Benjamin Josaphat, Javier Jorge-Reyes, Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, Joel Rayon Paniagua, Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, Juan Ramon Guerrero, Kimberly Morris and Leroy Valentin Fernandez. Third row from left are: Luis D. Conde, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, Luis S. Vielma, Martin Benitez Torres, Mercedez Marisol Flores, Miguel Angel Honorato, Oscar A Aracena-Montero, Paul Terrell Henry, Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz and Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala. Bottom row from left are: Shane Evan Tomlinson, Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, Stanley Almodovar III, Tevin Eugene Crosby, Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, Geraldo Ortiz-Jimenez and Juan Chavez Martinez. (AP Photo)

*This sad news serves up a big dish of heartbreak. We are all still terribly shaken by the horrific event in Orlando last month at the Pulse nightclub that claimed 49 lives. Now we learn that although family members have claimed the bodies of 48 of the victims, there is still one body that remains unclaimed. The father of the victim refuses to step up.

All we can gather from reports is that it is the body of a male, presumably Latino.

So as to not further victimize the deceased, the men’s names are being withheld.

The Advocate likens the actions of this father, rejecting his gay child’s dead body, with a stance taken not so long ago.

“[This] case echoes a reality that was widely seen during the height of the AIDS crisis, in which countless numbers of young gay men died and family members did not claim the bodies of their so-called loved ones,” they wrote.

Thanks to the diligence of the Orange County Medical Examiner and Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System, other family members were convinced to claim the body and arrange a funeral.

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