Keep an Eye on Your Children and Your Apartment Complex’s Employees

In Georgia, the mother of a murdered seven-year-old is suing her apartment complex for hiring and retaining a maintenance man with a history of committing crimes against children. Joselinne Rivera, mother of slain Jorelys Rivera, is alleging that River Ridge at Canton, her apartment complex, failed to perform adequate background checks on its employees, including Ryan Brunn, and those failures resulted in the loss of a child: Jorelys Rivera. Brunn, who was twenty years old at the time of the crime, confessed to murdering Jorelys shortly before he took his own life while he was in custody.

Jorelys was last seen alive by her mother on December 2, 2011 at the complex’s playground. Prior to that, there were multiple complaints to the apartment complex about Brunn lingering around the complex playground watching children. On December 5, 2011, Jorelys’ body was discovered inside a trash compactor; investigators have determined that young Jorelys was sexually molested and then beaten to death. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brunn was arrested and charged two days later with the murder. He then confessed to the crimes and hanged himself with his sweatshirt while in custody.

Prior to hanging himself, Brunn also admitted that he had molested two girls while babysitting years prior to this incident. Investigators have been reported to state that Brunn did not have an “adult” criminal history, which seems to suggest and confirm that Brunn was involved in crimes against children while a he himself was a minor. At this time, it is unknown whether the apartment complex conducted any background search, whether the apartment complex’s search was insufficient or whether the apartment complex was aware of Brunn’s prior criminal history. In any event, the facts will no doubt come to light during this litigation. Unfortunately for Jorelys Rivera and her family, this information is coming to light too late.

If you or someone you know has been harmed on property that has failed to provide adequate security or has failed to properly screen employees in order to protect tenants and residents from foreseeable acts of others, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211.