Missing Travis Co. probation officer may have left town on his own

Juventino Mendiola, 38

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Travis County probation officer who has been missing for a week may have left town on his own account and headed to the border, according to the mother of his son. Family and friends have been worried about Juventino Mendiola’s disappearance because of the stress that comes with his work. The 38-year-old didn’t show up to work last Tuesday, and no one’s seen him since.

Crystal Decker is the mother of Mendiola’s son. She says she met with a detective on Monday. An investigation revealed Mendiola bought a Greyhound bus ticket to the South Texas bordertown of Laredo.

Still, Decker previously told KXAN that she is struggling to keep things normal for her son amid his dad’s disappearance.

“I don’t want to worry a 9-year-old about something that is a grown-up problem,” said Decker on Sunday. “I have faith that he’s going to come and we’re going to find him and he’s going to come back. And I’m hoping that I don’t have to tell my son that daddy is missing.”

Friends say the last time anyone saw Mendiola was when he left his South Austin apartment early last Tuesday morning.

“This is not like him at all,” said friend Joel Avila, “He’s very reliable, very responsible, and it’s just caught everybody by surprise.”

Avila and Decker both say they’ve reached out to all the friends and family they can. And while they know a missing adult is a tough case, but they will keep searching.


Austin police assigned a detective to the case on Monday, and they had already issued a “be on the look out” for Mendiola. Mendiola drives a dark gray 2002 GMC Sierra. He’s about 5 feet 10 inches- to 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has dark hair that’s cut short.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s