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Sister of woman found dead in Palm City calls for accountability

Remains of Jayme Dawn Morton were found after an alleged rape victim escaped from the South Bay home.

SAN DIEGO — The sister of a woman found dead inside a man’s Palm City house last week called for accountability and justice.

San Diego police identified the deceased woman as Jayme Dawn Morton, age 35.

“When she was good and healthy, she was sweet, and she loved everybody,” said Morton’s sister, Rachel Davis, of Washington State.

Davis said her sister was the youngest of four siblings and the mother of two sons, ages 3 and 16.  The family grew up in San Diego.

In recent years, Morton struggled with addiction, according to the sister.

“I don't wish this on anybody. This has been the worst experience,” Davis said.  “You can't fight those demons for the person who's addicted until they're ready. There's not a whole lot you can do.  But you can always tell them you love them no matter what.”

The sister said about two years ago, Morton stopped communicating with her family.

Then, last week, came the phone call from the police.  Morton was found dead inside a home on Citrus Avenue in Palm City.

“We're trying to find the cause of death, number one.  We do feel like we deserve that,” said Davis.

Officers discovered Morton’s body inside the house after a 43-year-old woman escaped, flagged down a driver, and called 911.

The resident, Rafael Banda, 44, has been charged with kidnapping and forcible rape of the woman who escaped.

“I've never heard his name before.  And I imagine if she did know him, it had to be drug-related,” said Davis.

The alleged rape victim told officers Banda unsuccessfully tried to force her to dismember Morton’s body inside the home, according to a prosecutor, who said the woman could escape after Banda passed out from using drugs.

“Regardless of how she died, I feel strongly that there is still a level of accountability. You die in somebody's house, and they do nothing? You should be calling 911. You should be trying to get help, not trying to get somebody to dismember the body in your home,” said Davis.

The sister said her entire family is grateful to the woman who escaped and got help.

“I thank her, and I hope that she knows how much my family and I appreciate her for getting away, being strong, and getting the police there to get my sister out of that home,” Davis said.

Rafael Banda has not been charged in connection with Morton’s death.  Her cause of death has not been released.  The San Diego County Medical Examiner told CBS 8 the case had been sealed by SDPD, pending an ongoing investigation.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page for donations to help with funeral expenses and to support Morton's two sons.

WATCH RELATED: Kidnapped woman escapes captivity in South Bay home; police find dead woman inside

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