St. Petersburg, Florida -- There are new details in the death of 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck. The Department of Children and Families just released a report from its monthlong investigation into how the system failed to protect Phoebe.
DCF admits hotline counselors and case workers could have done more.
The report finds that while there's nothing that would have predicted John Jonchuck would allegedly take his daughter to the Dick Miesener bridge and throw her 60 feet to her death, the review cites several red flags and missed opportunities over the past year and a half that should have been caught to help her.
The investigation revealed there were not services provided to help protect Phoebe from concerns of domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health issues that surrounded her.
The first failure: missed warning signs on two calls to the Florida Abuse hotline. A caller reached out in December, a week before Phoebe's death, to report the girl had been abused by her dad and had concerns for their living arrangements. "They're jumping from house to house and no stable place to live," the caller stated.
Dec. 29 call to DCF about Phoebe Jonchuck:
Jan. 7 DCF call about concerns for Pheobe's Jonchuck's safety:
Second part of Jan. 7 DCF call about concerns for Pheobe's Jonchuck's safety:
The investigation shows the counselor failed to follow protocol and didn't get a correct address for investigators to track down Jonchuck, so the case was closed.
Then, there's the call from Jonchuck's attorney less than 12 hours before Phoebe's death reporting her dad's delusional behavior.
"I don't think he's in his right mind to have a five-year-old with him," Jonchuck's attorney said.
That case too was closed. The investigation shows the call-taker put too much emphasis on the fact Phoebe was often in the care of her grandparents. That's already prompted changes to the hotline policy that now requires a quicker response.
Finally, the report found that Child Protection investigators contracted through the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office should have provided the family with support and services, after a fight between Jonchuck and Phoebe's mother, Michelle Kerr, in June 2013. Jonchuck was arrested and moved out with Phoebe. The investigator believed the couple's separation was enough to protect Phoebe.
READ REPORT: DCF report on visit with Jonchuck
Child Protection investigators claimed they're overworked, averaging 25 open cases, and understaffed with 25 current vacancies. The Hillsborough sheriff's office tells 10 News that while the vacancies are challenging, the department believes it didn't have an impact on Phoebe's case.
Meanwhile, the state panel charged with reviewing child deaths met in Tampa Monday. Members are looking for ways to prevent child-abuse deaths. Dr. Robin Perry is the chairperson of the committee. He says they're looking at community-based initiatives that could help prevent child fatalities.