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Suit filed over body of slain daughter

The mother of a woman who was stabbed to death last week is asking a civil court to stop the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner from releasing the woman's body to her husband, according to court papers.

On July 14, Chiquita Shante Watson was stabbed in Temple Terrace; police said she was in the company of her husband and another woman. Watson died from her injuries on July 17, and Temple Terrace police investigated her death while the medical examiner performed an autopsy.

The police and the Hillsborough State Attorney's office are still reviewing the case. No charges have been filed.

But in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Rachel Smith said that Odis Alexzander Watson, Chiquita's husband, is under investigation in connection with the stabbing.

"Plaintiff (Rachel Smith) is informed and believes that the charges being considered by the state attorney against Watson in connection with Chiquita's death range from domestic violence through accessory to felony murder," said the court document.

Smith does not want her daughter's body released to Watson, according to the document.

"If Watson takes possession of Chiquita's body, he will be able to destroy evidence needed by plaintiff in order to pursue wrongful death or other civil remedies against Watson," the motion read.

Smith, through her lawyers, is asking a judge not to release her daughter's body until further order of the court.

Temple Terrace police Capt. Tracy Mishler said Watson has been interviewed in connection with the case.

Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner said the investigation is continuing.

Watson could not be reached for comment.