News Stories

What Are Kids Missing?

After two teenagers were arrested and charged for a murder in Lehigh Acres some people are asking what are kids missing these days.

On April 7th Lee County Sheriff’s responded to a traffic crash call and found a man dead inside a car with multiple gunshot wounds.

The man was later identified as a taxi driver named Hinso Estriplet.

Police say their investigation revealed he was a victim of a violent robbery.

The Major Crime Unit was able to arrest 20-year-old Ricky Ligonde and charged him with 2nd Degree Murder and Robbery with a Firearm.

Two weeks later 16-year-old Epimenio Leal and 13-year-old Angel Arellano were arrested and charged with the same crimes.

That’s crazy. When I was 13-years-old I was still playing with Barbie Dolls.

How does this even happen?

Chief Executive Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Lee County, Shannon Lane, says it might have been because they didn’t know what to do with their free time.

“Well the number one reason I know they did that is because they didn’t have that safe and supportive place to go every day after school,” Lane said.

How do children so young even get into terrible situations like this?

There has to be more to it than just after-school activities.

“They didn’t have an adult who was there to just do life with them,” Lane said.

“At some point they lost that.”

Too often we see kids going down the wrong path.

Who is trying to stop it?

Well, there are church programs, guidance programs like Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

The Boys and Girls Club of Lee County is also making sure children have a place to go and someone to listen.

“We really take the learning and the serious part of it and we hide it into the fun,” Lane said.

“Our intent is to have a lot of fun but to do life with these young people and be supportive.”

Lane says they aren’t only supportive, but they also cheer young people on throughout life.

“Cheer them on when they need to be cheered on but also hold them accountable when they make poor decisions,” Lane said.

She believes the Lehigh area is lacking the human services for families.

She also believes more adults should get involved in young peoples lives.

“We were all children at some point and someone thought we were reckless or someone thought that we were bad kids,” Lane said.

“I just encourage adults. Don’t judge young people get out there, meet them, talk with them.”

Here are some of the places where you can find help:

*PARKS AND RECREATIONS – (239) 533-7275