Thursday, November 22, 2012
Denver, CO: Loretta Barela's husband told 911 he might have killed wife Read more: Loretta Barela's husband told 911 he might have killed wife
A man accused in the slaying of his wife told 911 dispatchers to send police to her southwest Denver home Sunday morning because he thought he killed her during a fight, according to court documents released Wednesday.
Christopher Alex Perea, 41, is being held in the Denver jail on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Loretta Barela, 44. Police discovered Barela's body inside her home in the 1500 block of South Carlan Court about 8:15 a.m. Sunday, only after Perea himself called 911 and said he thought he'd killed her, according to a probable cause statement supporting his arrest.
Police internal affairs officers are investigatinga nearly 6½-hour delay between Perea's 911 call and that ofa neighbor who told dispatchers she could see a man hitting and dragging Barelainto her house. The neighbor called 911 first at 2 a.m. Sunday and again 40 minutes later. She said officers arrived about 3:10 a.m. and peered into the house with a flashlight before they left.
When Perea called 911 at 8:16 a.m., call-takers instructed him to start CPR on Barela, but he told them "that the body is cold and her jaw is stiff," the probable cause statement says. The Denver medical examiner's office said Wednesday it is awaiting the results of toxicology tests.
Perea told responding officers he did not want to talk further. Homicide Detective John Meoni noticed Perea had a swollen knuckle and cuts on both hands, two small drops of blood on his shirt, red marks on his neck and deeper cuts with blood on the top of his foot, the statement says.
Police officials on Wednesday would not comment further on the status of the internal investigation. A dispatcher involved in the call has been put on paid leave while Denver 911 conducts its own investigation. Critical of the response, Barela's family said they plan to picket outside the District 4 station on Friday morning.
They have started a fund — the Loretta Rosa Donation Account No. 2504413036 through Wells Fargo bank -- to benefit her five children and help with funeral costs.