Melanie Colon would have turned 28 today.
This birthday marks five years since she was murdered, leaving her son motherless.
“She has a son that misses her every damn day,” said Ralphiee Colon, 22, Melanie’s brother. “It’s messed up for my nephew to wake up without his mom. He still asks about her every day. He was 4 when she died. He’s 9 years old now. … My sister was an amazing person. She should have been cherished.”
Melanie Colon went missing on May 8, 2012, after going out with Reynaldo Torres. Her body was discovered in Juniata Park four days later on Mother’s Day.
Torres’ remains were found a year later. The Inquirer reported that those remains were found thanks to evidence on the iPad of disgraced former homicide Detective Ronald Dove — who was under investigation at the time for helping his girlfriend cover up a murder.
“A year into the case, we found out there was a detective involved, and he had information on his iPad which led police to Reynaldo’s body,” Colon said. He has been waiting since 2012 for Dove, 44, to be sentenced. But Dove will only serve 30 days in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and obstruction for helping his girlfriend escape arrest for the killing of her ex-boyfriend.
His plea agreement got him 23 months in prison, but parole after just 30 days with three years of reporting probation. Dove, currently free on $25,000 bail, goes to prison for a month on July 24.
“It’s not right,” Colon said. “If my brother had hot urine, he goes to jail for six months. You find evidence on someone’s iPad who only gets 30 days? I’m mad at the judge, too; I mean, are you blind?”
But what seems like a slap on the wrist doesn’t affect Colon’s opinion of the case.
“If I saw him, I would ask him, ‘Why did you have the information about Reynaldo being deceased in your iPad? What happened to my sister? If you knew nothing, there wouldn’t have been any information in your iPad,’” he said. “They say they don’t know what happened to both of their bodies. It is just so confusing. How do you give a man 30 days when you have information?”
The Philadelphia Police Department did not respond to requests for an update on whether Dove provided information related to Melanie’s death.
But Ralphiee Colon is staying strong for his family and his sister’s son. He will be holding a birthday celebration for his sister Friday.
“I keep going for my sister. I know she’s proud of me. I don’t want nobody to forget about Mel,” he said. “Even if you lose a loved one, you have to have faith and keep going in life. You can’t give up!”