Funeral director won’t let mother view body of 9-month-old son

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Dashia Martin is grieving the death of her baby boy, Dashawn, who was killed last month in a house fire in St. Louis.

"These weeks have been the worst weeks of my life since I lost my son," she said.

Martin said she left her 9-month-old baby boy with her cousin the night of Oct. 26 so she could get an early start searching for a new apartment in the morning.

She said it was the first time she left his side.

"His first time leaving, and he never came back,” Martin said. "So I do, I do blame myself sometimes. If I was there, I would have saved my baby; my baby would still be here."

Her cousin's apartment building caught on fire that night. Six adults and two small children were rescued.

Officials at the time told Fox2 News that Dashawn's body was found on the second floor, burned so badly that a DNA test was needed to identify him.

As Martin prepares for the funeral, she still hasn't seen her baby's body.

“That's the most heartbreaking thing I ever heard is tell me I can't see my child,” she said.

The funeral director, Ronald L. Jones, said he made that choice because he's protecting Martin from psychological trauma -- and himself from a possible lawsuit.

"The question is, what will she see? She won't see nothing that looks like her baby," Jones, with Ronald L. Jones Funeral Chapels, said.

"She could have a heart attack. She could have some emotional trauma behind seeing it, and then who's liable?"

No matter how horrific, Martin feels seeing her son will ease the pain and guilt she feels in her heart and help her achieve closure.

The family also feels left in the dark during the investigation, saying their questions aren't being answered and their phone calls aren't being returned.

They are asking for help for a proper burial for Dashawn. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise $3,000.

A GoFundMe page created by Ronald L. Jones Funeral Chapels says it will accept donations made out to Dashawn Martin.