Records show alleged child abuse in RV Park rampage case
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Officials released documents on a family detailing alleged child abuse prior to the father going on a deadly rampage at a South Florida RV park.
According to records at the Department of Children and Families, the department investigated alleged abuse occurring at William DeJesus' house dating back to 2007, but returned the children to the family.
Last month, DeJesus would then shoot and kill the owner of a motor home at a Deerfield Beach RV park. He then stabbed himself and his autistic 9-year-old son to death. DeJesus also wounded his wife and 7-year-old son. "I don't care about him, I care about the kids," said Matt Durkin, who knows the family. "I get emotional every time I think about it because the kids had nothing to do with it."
According to a DCF report, the 7-year-old son called his father a "monster" and feared the "monster was hiding under my bed."
The report goes on to say that DCF was alerted in September of 2007 that DeJesus "choked his wife and punched his children's door, leaving a hole." When police arrived, DeJesus' wife said, "Thank you, thank you. You saved me."
A DCF investigator said "he [DeJesus] is not capable of controlling his temper and drinking habitat," and "the overall risk to the children is high."
In Feb. of 2008, DeJesus' wife told case workers the couple molested their children because "his family had shown their love by touching the children's privates." She went on to say, "he made her believe this was the way to show the children their love." DeJesus' wife also said "she was afraid William would kill her if she refused."
Immediately, DCF removed the boys from the house. During that time, the document says "both children expressed fear of their biological parents."
During a scheduled visit, two workers reported DeJesus "was observed to be aggressive toward the children and repeatedly placed his hands in the children's groin areas as he played with and tossed them around," citing that the children's erratic behavior "was due to severe abuse and neglect." The report went on to say "exposing the boys to their parents would be traumatic for them."
In 2009, the mother of the children recanted all of the molestation and sexual abuse charges.
The children were returned to their parents by DCF in December of 2010. DCF ended all involvement with the DeJesus family, saying there was no physical evidence on the children to prove that they were sexually abused.
As far as last month's event, DCF claims there was nothing they could have done to avoid it, saying the son with autism and his other son were very young and could not speak when they were investigating.
A DCF spokesperson was asked if there was a mistake made on DCF's part by putting those two boys back with their mom and dad based on what is now known. Joe Follick of DCF responded in a phone interview, "The mother recanted and said, 'I made up those allegations, it didn't occur.' At that point we had no physical signs of abuse."
DCF also says that since this case and the Barahona case, they have changed their training practices for case workers so children do not fall through the cracks.
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