Lee County family wants answers after death of loved one

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A local family is heartbroken and searching for answers.

Four weeks ago, Gwen Minnis was found dead in a yard with her cell phone in one hand, and medication in another.

A Lee County deputy was put on leave for failing to respond to a 911 call made from the area where she died.

“It hurts me,” said Vonecia Tutson, “it hurts.”

It’s been four long weeks since Tutson’s mother collapsed and died in the front yard of a friend’s home. She had just been released three days earlier after a week-long stay in the hospital.

It took four weeks to get a death certificate signed.

“I have so many questions but no answers,” said Tutson.

Sources told WINK News just after 1 p.m. on March 13, someone called 911 from a house near Ortiz Avenue. Nobody spoke on the other end of the line.

Operators stayed on the line, and a deputy named Yvan Fernandez was dispatched.

Fernandez said he was on his way. But Sheriff Mike Scott said a preliminary investigation showed that Fernandez did not go, it appears that instead, he may have gone to lunch.

“I need to confirm, whether or not he was physically at the restaurant when the call came to him or whether he had not yet made it to the restaurant and was still en route,” said Scott.

Sources also told WINK News about 30 minutes into the call, another deputy was dispatched instead. But, it was almost an hour before any help arrived. Those are questions Tutson wants answered.

“I haven’t been approached by anyone. I haven’t had anyone reach out to me or my sister and I would love for them to come and explain to us what happened and why whatever happened did happen,” said Tutson.

Fernandez was placed on paid administrative leave and an internal affairs investigation was started. Sources say he has hired a lawyer to fight it.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office says the internal investigation is still not complete.

Author: dave culbreth
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