The investigation was closed on March 31, 2011, with an investigator concluding he could not substantiate the allegations.
But the case has an odd asterisk: The DCF investigator, Jean Lacroix, was arrested a year later on charges that he was pimping out foster children assigned to his care as part of a sexual trafficking ring.
Lacroix’s supervisor in the case, Duray Smith, resigned in May after the Herald reported he had been moonlighting as a substitute teacher — sometimes on the same days he was working at DCF — without seeking the approval of the department.
For several months, Jayden lived with both Villegas and Morales in an unusual Homestead household: Villegas was living with his girlfriend, 24-year-old Guadalupe Jaramillo, with whom he was expecting a child, and her four children. Morales was living in the home with the couple, and was expecting her fourth child with Villegas.
When an investigator arrived at the home, Jaramillo at first identified herself as Villegas’ sister.
Villegas had been repeatedly accused of abusing Morales, and in April, he was charged with domestic battery after he allegedly “grabbed” Morales “violently, causing injury to her right arm,” according to a Florida City police report.
Prosecutors dropped the charges against Villegas on the same day he is alleged to have attacked Jayden, however, when Morales could not be located, records show.
Villegas acknowledged to a DCF investigator in March 2012 that he had “an anger issue and wants counseling.” It is unclear whether Villegas ever received the treatment, however, when the March 2012 investigation was closed.
“We are really saddened, and pretty upset about this child’s death,” said Jacobo. “There were a lot of missed opportunities in this case.”
An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the manner in which Duray Smith, a former DCF supervisor, left the agency. Smith resigned in May.