ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) â€” Almost three weeks have passed since a Round Rock man was shot and killed, and his frustrated family members said they still have not been able to bury him.
Justin Silas, 40, died June 26 after Round Rock police said he was shot in the neck outside his home on Provident Lane. His mother, Kathy Silas, said she planned to use his life insurance policy to cover the funeral expenses, but the family found out that itâ€™s not entitled to the payout.
â€œWeâ€™re having to now try to get money together to bury Justin, but thatâ€™s a hard thing on the family because thatâ€™s what he purchased that insurance for was for his burial,â€ Kathy said. â€œWeâ€™re not asking the insurance company to give us any money. Weâ€™re just asking them to pay the funeral home for the burial.â€
Two days after her sonâ€™s death, Kathy told KXAN that she called his life insurance provider, American National, to inquire about the policy so that she could start planning the funeral. However, a representative later told her that the policy listed Tyesha Tanner-Silas, Justinâ€™s wife, as the primary beneficiary. Round Rock police accuse her of firing the shot that ultimately killed him.
Tanner-Silas remains in the Williamson County jail on a $500,000 bond related to a murder charge. Sheâ€™s presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, so, if she is acquitted or otherwise cleared of the murder charge, it stands to reason she would remain the beneficiary of the insurance policy.
The policy also apparently named Dâ€™Anderson Silas, Justinâ€™s 19-year-old son, as a secondary beneficiary. The insurance company, though, reportedly told the family that Dâ€™Anderson cannot access the money unless Tanner-Silas is convicted first.
â€œIâ€™m trying to get him to where he needs to be, but people just arenâ€™t working with us to get it to where it is,â€ Dâ€™Anderson said. â€œItâ€™s kind of crazy because weâ€™ve been trying and trying, and the frustration continues to build because weâ€™re trying to have his funeral. Itâ€™s just a lot.â€
The Silas family is now trying to pull together whatever money they can so that they can finally have the funeral Saturday. However, Kathy Silas is calling on the insurance company to change.
â€œWe could be healing, but now we canâ€™t even heal because weâ€™re still having to focus on burying Justin and thatâ€™s really hard,â€ she said. â€œI could sit here and talk and be strong, but through it all I could just break down any minute because itâ€™s really, really tough. Only God knows how tough it is.â€
KXAN reached out Monday to American National but never got a response.