Criminal charges filed in connection with drowning death of teen in DCF custody

BOSTON — Court documents obtained by 25 Investigates indicate a staff member of the RFK group home in Yarmouth was charged in the death of 15-year-old Monrius Rendon.

The indictment charges Kenneth Ortiz of Dennis with reckless endangerment of a child. He was arraigned in Barnstable County Superior Court.

Rendon was in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) and was a resident of the RFK Cape Cod Adolescent Treatment Center, a DCF group home, when he drowned in the Bass River while on a group outing Memorial Day Weekend.

According to police reports obtained exclusively by 25 Investigates, Ortiz and another staff member allowed a group of teens to jump off the Highbank Bridge in Dennis on May 30. Signs on the bridge warn against jumping into the river below.

Rendon, who according to family members didn’t know how to swim, never returned to shore. His body was recovered following a three-hour search.

25 Investigates tried reaching Ortiz for comment but did not hear back in time for this story. We also emailed the CEO of the Boston-based organization that operates the home, RFK Children’s Action Corps.  Ortiz is expected back in court in January for a hearing.

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