Fifteen year old Monrius Rendon drowned last month in Dennis while under the care of DCF, but his mother and Fox 25 News think something more nefarious happened.
Fox 25 News: The signs on the bridge warn against it. Yet, 15-year-old Monrius Rendon jumped off the side of the Highbank Bridge and into the Bass River in Dennis where there was no lifeguard on duty, according to police reports exclusively obtained by 25 Investigates. The teen, who was in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF), drowned May 30 while on a fishing outing with five other teen residents and two staff members of the Cape Cod Adolescent Treatment Center in Yarmouth. 25 Investigates reviewed the reports filed by state and local police officers who responded the night of the incident. According to the police reports, there is no indication that foul play is suspected but the documents raise questions about the decisions made by those supervising the group of teens that day.
On Saturday, May 30, at 7:48 p.m., Dennis police got a call for a “water rescue for possible child drowning who jumped off the Highbank Bridge,” per audio recordings of police scanner traffic on Broadcastify.com. Within minutes, first responders were at the Bass River and a dive team was activated. Witnesses told them Monrius had jumped into the chilly water below. After a three-hour search, a dive team recovered the 15-year-old’s body.
Monrius was in the care of the Cape Cod Adolescent Treatment Center, a DCF-contracted group home. The group, according to the documents, ended up at the bridge after a day of fishing. Reportedly, the group stopped there while on their way back to the group home. One of the reports indicates one of the staff members told police “one of the kids said they wanted to go swimming, which prompted all the kids to start removing the outer layers of clothing down to just shorts.” A couple of the kids had already jumped in and were taking turns going in the water. After Monrius jumped, according to the staffer’s account, he “had drifted past the first dock into the middle of the channel…he observed Monrius start to panic as he was drifting farther away.” There are signs on each side of the bridge that read: “Jumping from bridge prohibited.” But when asked about that, the same staffer told police they “did not see the posted signs on both sides of the bridge,” the report indicates.
In that same report, a woman identified as the group home’s program director told police “she was not aware the youths would be swimming, and explained her program’s policy with respect to swimming is that it is prohibited unless a lifeguard is present.” The documents also show police tried to question the second staff member supervising the teens that day but he “left the scene without [the reporting officer’s] knowledge prior to having a chance to speak with him….as of this day (6/3/20), [the staff member] has not returned any phone calls made to him from investigators.”
25 Investigates found an online Change.org petition “Justice for Monrius Rendon,” which appears to have been set up by a family friend. It claims “Monrius was a 15-year-old boy from Norwood, Massachusetts who supposedly ‘drowned’…Monrius doesn’t swim nor does he know how to swim.” We contacted the group home, which is operated by the Boston-based Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps. By email, the agency’s chief executive officer Robert Watson said, “we will have no comment at this time.” We also reached out the DCF, the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s office and the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), the agency that oversees group homes in Massachusetts, to ask about Monrius’s case. All declined to comment citing an open investigation into the incident. Monrius’s mother initially agreed to speak with 25 Investigates but recently stopped returning our calls. We have learned the family has retained legal counsel
A great way to make sure your child never dies in DCF custody is to not lose them to the DCF Fairy in the first place. This kid apparently used to go missing a lot.
Which is odd, because his mother Erica Riggs claims to be a stay at home parent.
It’s hard to blame DCF for this, considering he was a 15 year old boy in foster care. Troubled 15 year olds cannot be controlled, and if they want to jump off of a bridge into the water on a hot day, they’re going to do it. All the rules and regulations in the world will not stop them.
Erica Riggs has been very active on social media since her son drowned.
She’s initially from Arkansas, and in 2003 she had her 3 children permanently taken from her.
This is an appeal from the termination of appellant’s parental rights. Appellant is the mother of S.S., born May 19, 1999, and of M.M., born October 9, 2000. Her children were removed and placed in the custody of the Arkansas Department of Human Services on December 21, 2001, because of neglect, malnutrition, inadequate food, and lack of supervision. S.S. was found in appellant’s care in a dirty motel room with little food or clothing. M.M. had been left with a mere acquaintance for weeks without so much as leaving a means for the acquaintance to contact appellant.
Appellant’s argument for reversal is that, by the conclusion of the case, she had remedied the “danger of extreme maltreatment” that caused removal, and that her parental rights should therefore not have been terminated and her children should be returned to her. We disagree. Our review of the record leads us to conclude appellant has devoted little effort and made negligible progress toward achieving the minimum level of stability necessary to be a parent.
There was extensive evidence that, since the filing of the petition, appellant willfully and repeatedly disqualified herself from the public assistance programs upon which her family relied. She lost her federally-subsidized housing assistance by failing to report to the housing authority, as required by her lease, that she had permitted another occupant with an additional income to live there with her. She likewise became disqualified from food-stamp assistance pending a fraud investigation by refusal to comply with the program rules. Similarly, appellant disrupted family stability by her flagrant disregard of traffic laws. Although her driver’s license was suspended and she had neither insurance nor license plates on her vehicle, she persisted in driving, was ticketed for doing so, failed to appear in court or pay the tickets, had warrants issued for her arrest, was fined $1700, and was jailed for ten days. This is especially significant in light of the evidence that appellant never obtainedmeaningful employment as ordered and was, at the conclusion of the case, dependent entirely upon the income of an undocumented alien working under a fictitious name. Finally, there was evidence that appellant cursed, attempted to strike, hid from, and refused to cooperate with case workers; that she was able to afford satellite television and internet service but failed to pay any of the child support ordered by the court; and that she missed half of the scheduled visits with her children for no compelling reason
In 2012 she put out a YouTube video looking for them, claiming DCF snatched them up for no reason, and asserting that “my children was taken wrong from me.”
So basically she’s Dixie Kate Peter.
Instead of getting her tubes tied she elected to reproduce a few more times and somehow lost custody of Monrius Rendon. Had she learned from her mistakes and been a decent mother he would’ve been under her care and never would’ve died in foster care. You’d think that someone whose job is “stay at home Mom” would be able to keep track of her children a little bit better, but I guess she was busy.
But of course in the age of BLM everything is racist, so the family is blaming the white kids who are also in the program.
One family member said they’re killing everyone who was there that day.
Which should definitely help.
Erica has been commemorating Monrius a lot on Facebook, refers to him as “My King,” and has been posting his his aspiring rap music.
The other day she went to the place where he drowned in order to prove that he was murdered, or something. She claims that the tide was low and calm when he died, which is not true. He died at 7:45 and high was at 9 that night. In that river the tide comes in hard and high, so he very likely would’ve drowned if he wasn’t a strong swimmer. And I’ve seen plenty of people who don’t know how to swim give it a shot anyway.
If only she put as much effort into being a mother as she did into being an investigative conspiracy theorist. Nice to see Fox 25 News is focusing on DCF while not putting any blame on the mother who has lost multiple kids over multiple decades to DCF.
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