Though no formal charges had yet been filed against Florida Department of Children and Families worker Daniel LaCroix, the 46-year-old man was arrested on Saturday for trying to flee the country after his name came up in another criminal investigation when it was suggested he was having sex with a young foster care girl he was assigned to protect. LaCroix tried to flea to the Dominican Republic and was arrested and finally officially charged with five counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
LaCroix's alleged crimes came to light during an investigation into a prostitution ring involving girls in foster care. Four South Florida pimps are alleged to have recruited underage girls from the system into working in a brother of sorts in Homestead.
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During the investigation, authorities discovered that LaCroix, a DCF Investigator, may have been having sex with one of the girls. The girl, who has cognitive impairments, would receive texts from LaCroix during school. LaCroix would arrange to pick her up after school, and then the two would have sex.
"ASAs (Assistant State Attorneys) Brenda Mezick & Court Keeley, MDPD Det. Jeanette Azcuy & ICE ASAC Tonya Marshall went to extraordinary lengths to bring this man into custody as he tried to flee the country," said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle in a statement. "But for those who work child exploitation & human trafficking cases, extraordinary efforts are just part of the everyday routine."
LaCroix was eventually caught in New York before trying to flee to the Dominican Republic. Authorities believe he was eventually headed for Haiti. He had been on administrative leave since May.