An insurance company has filed suit against the daughter and husband of Jone S. Knapton, asking the courts to excuse it from being involved with the decision of who should get the slain woman’s $100,000 life insurance benefit.

In seeking a court ruling, the company cites questions about Knapton’s death and who might be responsible for her killing.

Knapton’s 2003 death remains unsolved. The 46-year-old East Moline woman went missing on the Fourth of July that year, and some of her remains were discovered July 10, 2003, in the Green River near Geneseo, Ill.

The lawsuit filed Monday by the Hartford Life Group Insurance Co. against Larry and Nicole Knapton and the estate of Jone Knapton asks the courts to order the defendants to litigate among themselves and that the company be discharged from any claims made by Knapton’s relatives.

Police, who continue to investigate the case, have never publicly identified any suspects in Jone Knapton’s death, but the lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, describes Larry Knapton as a suspect.

“Because Larry M. Knapton remains a suspect in the homicide of the decedent, Hartford is presently unable to discharge its admitted liability,” the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, Nicole Knapton’s attorney has informed the company that she will file a claim under the policy. Knapton, who was a 20-year-old college student when her mother died, has an order of protection against her father on file in Rock Island County Circuit Court that claims he was a primary suspect in the investigation of her mother’s slaying.

Neither Larry nor Nicole Knapton could be reached for comment Monday by the Quad-City Times.

Larry Knapton — who lives in Wall Lake, Iowa, according to the suit — faces felony child pornography charges in Cook County, Ill., that are unrelated to Jone Knapton’s death.

Jone Knapton’s sister, Cheryl Ashcraft, said Monday that the family does not want Larry Knapton to get any money via his late wife’s life insurance policy.

“We’ve been doing everything possible to ensure that no life insurance policies are paid out and that no 401(k) (monies) are paid out to Larry Knapton until he cooperates (in the investigation) or until he’s cleared as a suspect,” she said.

Ashcraft said the family is upset that Knapton allegedly received $10,000 in burial fees that he never used to pay for his wife’s funeral arrangements.

“I’d hate to see him capitalize on my sister’s death any more than he already has,” she added.

Dustin Lemmon can be contacted at (563) 383-2493 or dlemmon@qctimes.com.

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