Caseworker arrested in Rachel Fryer case on unpaid leave, attorney says

FDLE: Caseworker lied about condition of Rachel Fryer's children

Jonathan Irizarry.
Jonathan Irizarry.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The child welfare worker, who was arrested on allegations of falsifying official records in the case of Rachel Fryer, was placed on unpaid leave on Monday as the investigation continues.

Jonathan Irizarry, 27, of Altamonte Springs, was arrested on Friday on two counts of falsifying an official record that contributes to the great bodily harm or death of an individual in the care and custody of a state agency.

Irizarry was working with Fryer, who was arrested on murder charges after her daughter's body was found in a shallow grave.  Irizarry's attorney said his client works for a company named Empower, a contractor of Community Based Care, which handles many Department of Children and Families duties in Seminole County.

Irizarry had been working to place children in foster homes, according to his attorney, and did not have direct contact with children in his position. His attorney described it as a behind-the-scenes role.

According to the FDLE, Irizarry documented that he made checks on the children on Jan. 23 and Feb. 6, 2014, and in one instance noted the children were free from bruises.

However, a Jan. 19 photograph of Fryer's daughter, found on Fryer's phone, indicates a bruised and swollen eye and one arm in a sling, the FDLE said.

Additionally, a Feb. 12 postmortem exam of the child showed multiple healing injuries, including cuts, bruises, cigarette burns and bite marks, according to state officials.

The body of Fryer's daughter was found Feb. 11 in a shallow grave in Crescent City and Fryer was arrested on murder charges.

His attorney said Irizarry was planning on returning to his job on Monday morning after bonding out of jail on Friday night.