‘I’m hurt every day’: Ralphiee Colon, brother of gun victim

This tribute had been set up shortly after Melanie Colon's death. File Photo
This tribute was set up shortly after Melanie Colon’s death. Credit: Metro File Photo

Melanie Colon was one of Philadelphia’s 331 homicide victims last year.

The young mother, then 22, went missing from her North Philadelphia home on May 8, 2012. Her body was found less than a week later, just before Mothers Day, in a wooded area near Tacony Creek Park.

Like the vast majority of the city’s crime-related fatalities, she had been gunned down, shot six times at close range.

Melanie’s family still struggles with her loss, and with the fact that her killer has not been brought to justice.

“It has got a little easier – it’s almost about to be two years,” said Melanie’s brother Ralphiee Colon, 18. “But the emotions are still there. I’m hurt every day thinking about it.

“I think the nighttime and the morning are the most difficult, because it’s like I’m going to sleep without her and I’m waking up without her. Then, during the day, it’s just me wishing that she was here.”

He believes his sister would still be with him were it not for the firearms flooding the city’s streets.

“She would still be here because them guns is powerful, they can take people out fast,” he said. “I think that’s the easiest way you can kill somebody, is to pull the trigger. And once you pull that trigger, you can’t reverse it back.”

Ralphiee’s loss was compounded this year by the death of his mother, Zoraida Miranda, on May 3.

“I’ve already accepted fact [Melanie] is gone and I have to live with this for the rest of my life, but, really, losing my mom, it affected me a lot,” he said. “I just don’t understand the timeframe; my mom didn’t even make it to the one-year anniversary of my sister’s death.”

Ralphiee is now grieving the loss of two family members, compounded by the pain of watching his father, stepmother, older brother and young nephew struggle with their wounds as well. ”It’s got to a point where everybody keeps their emotions to themselves,” he said. “Now, we try to talk to each other, but we can’t. I’d rather keep my stuff to myself. I talk sometimes, but it’s kind of hard.

“That’s another reason why I be hurt, too,” he continued. “Because I see my family hurt and I can’t do nothing. I can’t bring happiness back to them, just like, vice versa, they can’t bring happiness back to me. And it hurts them to see me hurt.”

Ralphiee is also dealing with Melanie’s son, Joshua, now 5, getting older – and beginning to ask questions about his mother.

“He started school already in kindergarten. He’s being more smarter, he’s getting bigger – he’s turning into a nice little boy,” Ralphiee said. “He talks about Melanie more and he knows she’s dead. He doesn’t understand the full situation of her getting shot, but he understands she passed away. But he knows that she’s always with him.”

Ralphiee said his primary motivation now is keeping Melanie’s memory alive and continuing to search for answers in her slaying, partly by maintaining a Facebook tribute page that has more than 10,000 “likes.”

“We can’t let anyone forget about her because she was killed for no reason – we don’t know why she was killed – and we need people to still talk about her,” he said.

“I’s about keeping word out. At the end of the day, it’s what I have to do. I’m OK – I don’t want to kill myself because if I kill myself, what would that do? I will go to Hell and I won’t see my sister and my mom. So I’ve got to keep going.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.