‘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
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.