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Florida family upset after learning DCF investigator arrested for child molestation

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Posted at 9:34 AM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 09:34:34-04

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — A North Fort Myers family says they're livid after finding out that a Lee County DCF worker that checked on their son was later arrested for child molestation.

It all started with an unexpected knock at the door last Wednesday.

"He says, 'Oh, it's very urgent that I see the kids today. I have to see them today, and if you don't, we're going to contact local law enforcement," said Joshua Negron.

The "he" Negron is referring to is 43-year-old Enrico Mendes Jr., a Lee County DCF worker.

Negron and his partner, Alisha Jackson, were out of town at the time, after attending a funeral and he says at first they told Mendes "no."

"He was very persistent about seeing my older son today," said Jackson.

After Mendes Jr. threatened to call the cops again, they called their babysitter.

"I told her to let them in. He came inside, took my son to the room, took pictures, what those pictures are we don't know," said Negron.

Surveillance cameras captured photos of Mendes Jr. knocking on their door and later speaking with their baby sitter and eight-year-old son.

Mendes Jr. eventually left, but on Monday, the couple got a call from a new caseworker who asked to do another check-in.

"I was like, 'Well someone already seen my kids. We're already working with someone,'" said Jackson. "And that's when she giggled and she said 'Haha that's because he's in jail.'"

That's how they two found out that Mendes Jr. had been arrested last Thursday on two felony counts of molesting children related to him.

They say the only reason Mendes Jr. was in their home is because of a dispute with their son's school district.

"All this stems from a mentally delayed child not logging into the computer to do his homework," said Negron.

The couple says they feel like the system has failed them.

"As a mom, I don't know what to feel like my trust was broken because DCF is someone you should be able to trust. Not someone you should be afraid to open your door to," said Jackson.

Mendes Jr. is being held in the Lee County jail on two felony charges of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor. His bond is $100,000 dollars.

If released, he will have to wear a GPS monitor and is not allowed to have contact with children.

Fox 4 also confirmed that Mendes Jr. worked for the Lee County school district. He left the district in 2018 and worked as a coach at South Fort Myers High School. The district was not able to confirm how long he worked for them or what team(s) he coached.

Mendes Jr. is due back in court on June 15.