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Homicide under investigation (update)

WALSENBURG —  On the morning of Thursday, January 16, Fahry Trujillo of Walsenburg saw her neighbor, Ralph Candelario, call for help, collapse onto the sidewalk. She called 911. Candelario was airlifted to Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, and investigating police found Ralph’s wife, Pam, dead in the kitchen of their home. Candelario brought his hand-typed story to the office of the Huerfano World Journal, to answer questions he is getting from everyone. Here is a condensed version of his open letter.

To whom it may concern: The following account I am recording to the best of my memory during the week following the death of my beloved wife, Pam. It is what I can remember. I must start on Tuesday evening because I had to go back and piece together the day’s events one bit at a time as I could. I wish I had more time to recover, but time and circumstances won’t allow that. Tuesday evening Pam and I had dinner at about 6:30. She made chicken and rice and we had 1/2 glass of red wine each with dinner, then we sat down to watch some TV; some Frasier, some Star Trek Voyager and White Collar. Pam took her bath at 9 pm and I took mine at 9:30. we were both in bed by 10:30, approximately. The morning of January 15, 2014 at about 2:30 I got up to go to the bathroom, went out of the bedroom into the hallway upstairs, and noticed a downstairs light was not on, so I went down to check why. I heard something downstairs as I got to the bottom of the railing. I turned and someone hit me in the back. I tripped forward and went toward the front door, when someone else hit me in the head from the side room. I got a glimpse of this person, a tall dark man with yellow glasses, short curly hair, wide nose, large lips and marks on the sides of his face. I could not see his eyes or ears. A moment later I was lying on the floor, unconscious. I don’t know how long I was there on the floor, but I started to hear noises, noises upstairs, noises in the kitchen; no lights anywhere were on. I knew something was wrong. My head hurt, I was dizzy, I could not see clearly, but I tried to get up a couple of times and finally stumbled toward the kitchen. I turned the light on by the kitchen sink and found Pam lying on the floor by the cupboard. She is alive, but she is badly hurt, there is blood all over her face and all over the floor. I yelled at her but she did not respond at all. She was breathing hard and blood was coming out of her nose and mouth. I tried to clear her mouth, but she was bleeding and it wouldn’t stop. She started to convulse and I held her hand for just a couple of minutes, and she just went quiet. I yelled at her again and just started crying. She did not respond and was no longer breathing. I just collapsed down to the floor by the sink. A moment later the two guys ran downstairs and told me to shut up. The taller man took me to the front hall and told me to get down and to shut up. When I lay down on the floor I was crying and he kicked me in the side and told me to shut up. They were speaking in Spanish, but the tall one did speak to me in thick English and told me not to move or make any noise. They turned the kitchen light out. They both had some kind of LED lights on the sides of their gloves. Something was wrong with them. The tall guy was talking on a phone in Spanish. I don’t know what phone he was using. I could only determine he was very angry. Something was wrong with the car, I could not tell what. He told the shorter guy they would have to wait awhile. He told me not to move. Some time went by, don’t know how much. He came back and asked me if I had any more money. I told him I had a couple of stashes upstairs and in the garage. He told me to go get them. He followed me to the kitchen where I put on my tennis shoes to go out to the garage. He took out a small hand gun and told me he would be watching. I went out the back and the rear door glass was broken. Some pieces fell out when I opened the door. I continued to the garage where I tried to lift myself up into the loft. I had an old shotgun in the loft with a couple of shells, but I couldn’t pull myself up, so I grabbed the two-hundred dollars I had under the candle and went back out. When I turned around, I saw Fahry (Trujillo)’s husband in the back, in his yard. I always wave at him but the tall guy was standing by the bathroom window with his gun, looking at me, so I just looked straight forward and I didn’t wave. I didn’t even look over. I thought maybe he might think that was strange and come check on us. Nobody ever came. When I went in, more glass fell. I was sure someone would hear. I think it was about 5:00 now because there was some traffic starting to move around. Once I was inside, I told them it was cold and I needed to keep fire going, so I went back out to get a couple of pieces of wood for the stove, but I could not see Fahry’s husband, so I brought the wood in. But when I picked up the poker to stir up the fire, I saw blood on the end of it and put it down and told them I would just turn the electric on. I turned the heater on in the TV room, but the tall guy would not let me stay. He took me to the hallway and told me to lay down and stay. I just broke down. I was crying and I was cold, and I was freaked out, Pam was there with me just a few feet away. I grabbed a small pillow off a bench and a small blue knit blanket to cover myself and I just cried. I either passed out or fell asleep exhausted and cold. The next bit of memory comes at about 11:00 am on Wednesday morning. The tall guy was talking angrily on his phone about the carro, telling them to ondelay,[sic] then cursing “puta, you puta”, more, but I don’t know much Spanish. They were in the TV room and I asked if I could go to the bathroom. He followed me upstairs to the bathroom. I went to the bathroom and then washed my hands and face and saw my face was absolutely swollen above my left eye and I had a cut on my nose. I went across the hall to the sitting room and got my slippers, took off my tennis shoes and went down the hallway. I turned to go into the bedroom, but he told me no, and said, “down.” I was trying to get my phone; it was on my bedstand. He told me to lay down and be quiet. Around one o’clock some glass fell out of the back door. The guys ran into the fireplace room and closed the door. I thought someone might be checking the house, but it turned out to be the wind. Still nobody. Why did no one ever come by, I still don’t understand. In the afternoon he called someone again about the carro and started cursing again, you puta, and other things. About 4 o’clock things took a turn for the worst. The tall guy was still angry and thought he would come over and kick me. I was just resting on the floor. Then he pointed his gun at me and fired. It just clicked——-. I can’t fully say what happened to me at that point. This continued for almost an hour. I lost all control of myself. I shit in my pajamas, I peed in them also, all over myself, and they just laughed. I was just laying there in my own shit and they were laughing. I just broke down altogether. I passed out at some point because when I woke it was dark outside. Only the light from the street was coming in. I thought how nice it looked and it was quiet. but I realized I was freezing. I couldn’t stop shaking. I got up and went into the TV room and lay down in front of the heater, just crying, shaking. I smelled terrible. I lay there for a while, then I decided I would try to go upstairs and try to clean myself up, but the tall guy came in from behind the fireplace room and told me to shut up and lay down on the floor. He told me,”Do you want to die?” I said, “no.’ He said, “Shut up and I mean forever or I will come back and finish you.” I just said, ”Ok” and laid back down on the floor. I couldn’t help myself, I just peed all over myself again. It was more than I could deal with. I passed out again. When I awoke the sun was coming up and light was in the house. I thought my nightmare was over, but I looked down the hall and I could see Pam’s legs in the kitchen. I couldn’t hear anything, and the fireplace doors were closed. I mean when I couldn’t hear anything, I mean there was absolutely no sound. No voices, no traffic, no dogs. Nothing. I was so cold and dizzy, but I got myself up and went over to Pam and I just lost everything. I yelled, I pissed my pajamas, again, and I just went for the front door. I didn’t think, I just went maybe milon could help he was near. I stumbled down the front steps and saw Fahry over to my right. I yelled to her for help. I was
walking. I made it to the 2nd set of steps and went down, but when I turned to go to her I lost my balance and fell on the sidewalk and hit the right side of my head. I asked her for help for me and for Pam, to check on her, and I remember her calling 911. Then I lost focus. I was so cold on the concrete, but I was already freezing. When the paramedics arrived I remember them talking to me, but I don’t remember what. I vaguely remember them cutting my clothes off. I was shaking and I couldn’t stop. The next thing I remember was the hospital. They were trying to warm me up and get an IV into me and then they were trying to clean me up. The next thing I remember was riding in the helicopter. It just hurt my head worse. It vibrated all the way (and) just made me sick. When they got me to Parkview they gave me a warm IV and blankets and some morphine for the pain and I started to feel better. Sometime in the ER a gentleman came over to take pictures of my injuries to my head, my ribs, my arm, and my face. I can’t remember his name. Also Greg Sudar from CBI came to talk to me, to ask me what happened. I tried to tell him as much as I could, but at that time I was still in shock and all I could really remember was getting hit in the head. I really could not remember what had all happened the last day. I thought everything had happened that morning, that’s what I believed. After some more x-rays and a CT scan, the doctor said I had a concussion and said I was stable and could go home. My son Aaron came to pick me up, but Greg and Kurt Leibchen said they would give me a ride to CBI and then I could go, so I said okay. Little did I know what trauma was to unfold next, and how badly I was (to be) treated for the next 11 hours. I was mistreated, bullied, intimidated, tortured and coerced for the next 11 hours, yes, I repeat, 11 hours. Part two of Ralph’s letter will be in next week’s paper. On Tuesday evening, Walsenburg Police Chief Tommie McLallen said blunt force trauma to the head was the cause of Pam Candelario’s death, according to Huerfano County Coroner Della Duran. He said the official results are still pending toxicology reports from the autopsy conducted by the El Paso County Medical Examiner. “We’re still following leads and now it’s up to science,” McLallen said.