EL PASO, Texas — More than 800 persons attended funeral services for the U.S. consular employee and her husband gunned down March 14 in Ciudad Juárez, México.
Family, friends, and co-workers paid their last respects to Lesley Enriquez, 35, and Arthur Redelfs, 34, a detention officer in the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, to the solemn lament of a trumpet playing Taps on a windy afternoon at Memorial Pines Cemetery in Sunland Park on March 20th.
The couple was murdered after a car chase through Juárez after leaving a children’s birthday party with their baby daughter.
“When they were brutally murdered, seven-month-old Rebecca was left in the back seat orphaned but thankfully unharmed. Also tragically, Lesley was pregnant at the time and we just now found out that baby Rebecca will never get to know her little brother,” said Michael Redelfs, Arthur’s uncle.
Full honors were requested for the funeral. “We’re pretty much at the mercy of the family. Whatever they want, that’s what we’re going to provide,” said Deputy Jesse Tovar, spokesperson for the El Paso Sheriff’s office.
“They were a young couple, just beginning their lives together as a family,” said uncle Michael Redelfs.
Military trucks carrying masked men are a common sight today in Juárez. Despite the multitude of military forces that Mexican President Felipe Calderón has sent to the border city since assuming office in December 2006, Juárez has become an infamous city of death. A simple online search of its name brings up countless murder stories. Various websites have it ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the world, often second only to Mogadishu, Somalia.
Some 615 violent deaths have been reported there this year, 14 in the first three days of April. “As Juárez continues to fail, it certainly threatens the future of El Paso,” said Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso City Councilman since 2005.
“I read today that President Obama is outraged,” said O’Rourke the day after the death of the Redelfs. “On the one hand I’m glad that he’s paying attention. On the other hand, I’m disappointed that it’s taken this to get his attention.”
Around his workplace, Arthur Redelfs was known as being an exemplary employee who could always be relied on for help. “I have 50 officers in my section that worked closely with him and they were all devastated when we heard the news,” said chief of operations Robert Kaminski, Redelfs’ direct superior.
When the gunshots ended and the dust cleared, the only sound coming from within the Redelfs’ white Toyota was a baby’s cry. “There has been an outpour of love and support for little Rebecca and we are very grateful,” said uncle Michael Redelfs.
A Facebook page has been launched under her name to help gather donations. “We have established a trust fund in Rebecca’s name to ensure the happy future that her parents would have wanted,” said Michael Redelfs.
Trust fund information:
- Facebook page under Rebecca Redelfs (donations through PayPal)
- Send donations directly to:
Wells Fargo Advisors
201 E. Main St. Ste 101
El Paso, TX 79901
Make check payable to Wells Fargo Advisors. Write Rebecca Redelfs in memo line.