Harris County Sheriff’s Office loses second employee to COVID-19

HOUSTON – The Harris County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Saturday that the department has lost a second employee due to COVID-19.

HCSO Deputy Juan Menchaca died on Saturday after a lengthy battle with the virus.

Menchaca, 70, had been hospitalized for several weeks after contracting COVID-19, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

Menchaca was a 14-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. He was most recently assigned to the courts division. He began his law enforcement career with the Nacogdoches Police Department, and he previously served 18 years as a Texas parole officer.

“Deputy Menchaca was a beloved member of our Harris County Sheriff’s Office family, and he will be terribly missed by all of us who had the honor of knowing him,” said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez in a release. “I ask the entire community to lift up Deputy Menchaca, his wife, Melissa, and their entire family in their prayers. I also ask that we all honor him by continuing to do our part to stop the spread of this terrible virus.”

Deputy Menchaca and his wife had seven children.

He is the second Sheriff’s Office employee to die after contracting COVID-19. The HCSO lost Sgt. Raymond Scholwinski, 70, on May 6 after a month-long battle with the virus, officials said.

The number of Sheriff’s Office employees who have tested positive for the virus during the pandemic stands at 332. Of those, 15 are currently hospitalized and 254 have recovered, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Funeral arrangements for Deputy Menchaca are pending.

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