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

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.
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.

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.


About the Authors:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.