KCMO Mom Struggles to Raise Funds for Son’s Funeral

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As one metro mom struggles to raise the money to bury her murdered son after her insurance company refused to pay out, another metro mom says that she had similar problems with the same company after her grandson was murdered as well.

Mikel Lane was shot and killed in Kansas City, Missouri, last week. His mother, Carolyn Roach, says that she has been trying desperately to raise the $3,400 to pay her son's funeral expenses.

Related: Grieving Mother Battles Insurance Company

"I just have to do the best I can with this," said Roach, who was joined with others at a prayer vigil near 23rd Street and Denver on Thursday evening to help look for her son's killer and raise money for his funeral. "I have to have this money in ASAP."

Roach, a teacher in the Kansas City Missouri School District, says that she thought her 28-year-old son was covered under a life insurance policy she's had for over 30 years with the Reliable Life Insurance Company in Independence.

But an attorney for Reliable says that Mikell Lane's coverage ended when he turned 25.

"If it applied to me, why were they (Reliable) taking my money?" asked Roach.

John Camillo, attorney for Reliable Life, told FOX 4, "the policy is priced to cover the insurance coverage provided to her and to all of her children until they reach age 25."

"We pay every claim that we owe," said Camillo.

Carolyn Roach's story is familiar to former Reliable Life Insurance Company customer Janette Smith, who took over the life insurance policy of her grandchildren after their mother - her daughter - died in 1996.

When Smith's grandson, Michael Butler, was shot and killed in 2010, Smith says that she thought Reliable Life would pay the $5,000 for funeral expenses.

"They (Reliable Life) never told me that I would not receive the money if he should pass away," said Smith. But Smith never received any money because she says Reliable told her that her deceased daughter was still the beneficiary.

"I was told that I wasn't entitled to the money," said Smith. "The money would go to his children."

Smith and Roach say that they will continue to talk with Reliable Life's attorney about their situations. FOX 4 will keep you posted on the outcome.

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