‘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

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…