Travis County probation officer missing

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Travis County probation officer is missing and hasn’t been seen in nearly a week. Family and friends are worried because of the stress that comes with his work.

Juventino Mendiola, 38, 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’s struggling to keep things normal for him.

“I don’t want to worry a 9-year-old about something that is a grown-up problem,” said Decker, “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 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.

“When nobody heard from him, that got everybody’s attention that something really is wrong here,” said Avila.

They know a missing adult is a tough case, but the will keep searching.

“We just want him safe. He’s just such a good person and such a great dad,” said Decker.

Austin police have issued a “be on the look out” for Mendiola. They expect to assign a detective Monday. 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.

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