WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Six detention center employees were placed on paid administrative leave following the death investigation of a teen who died on Sunday while in custody at the Palm Beach Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
The six employees were placed on leave effective July 12, pending the outcome of investigations into circumstances surrounding his death, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice spokeswoman Samadhi Jones confirmed today.
"The DJJ is conducting an intensive review of actions taken by department personnel to determine whether policies and procedures were followed," said Jones.
West Palm Beach Police Department is also investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.
“The sudden loss of this young man brings deep sadness to all of us at the DJJ,” said Secretary Wansley Walters. “We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Jones said she could not release the victim's name because of state law. But Maritza Perez of Fort Pierce said investigators told her Sunday the victim was her son, Eric Perez.
The family of 18-year-old Eric Perez says he was a troubled teen, but was beginning to turn his life around.
Now suddenly that life is over, just as he was set to be released from juvenile detention.
Perez's funeral was held on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Tillman Funeral home located at 2170 Military Trail in West Palm Beach.
Rochelle Ritchie contributed to this report.
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