LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. It’s the law for the state to investigate when a call is made to the Florida Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline, attorney Shaina Zuppke said.
But what happens if calls meant to alert the agency aren’t investigated?
Neighbors of Jonathan Jensen — the man who last month shot and killed his wife, Tiffany, and 18-year-old Heidi Shinn before taking his own life — say the Jensen home was unstable. Jensen would sometimes step outside the Fourth Street Southwest residence and randomly fire his gun in the middle of the night, neighbors said.
“There’s been trouble with them before, but we never thought it would be to this severity,” Connie Banno said.
Shinn, a Fort Myers High School student, never should have been living with Jensen, a source close to the family said.
“Nobody should’ve been living in that house because of all of his anger, frustration, guns,” the source said.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Lehigh Acres home nearly 60 times in the past three years, and Jensen had an arrest record.
Shinn’s teachers called the DCF about the Jensen home, Lee County school board member Pam Lariviere said. So did neighbors.
“It is my understanding phone calls were made,” Lariviere said.
The DCF has an open investigation on this case, so they won’t comment on any prior involvement they’ve had with it. That means it’s unclear if they received the calls about the Jensen home or investigated them.
But according to Zuppke, who is not affiliated with the case, the child’s safety is the priority and each case is handled differently.
“Unfortunately it’s hard to tell what was reported, the information of what the specific allegation was,” Zuppke said. “All that information is kept confidential.”