Police took about an hour to respond to a call from 44-year-old Loretta Rosa's neighbor, who says the mother of 5 was screaming for help as her husband 41-year-old Christopher Perea dragged her into their home.
Perea faces first-degree murder charges in connection with his wife's death.
At 2 a.m. Sunday, a neighbor called 911 to report Rosa came to her door, topless, and screaming for help - before Perea dragged her into their home
That neighbor called again at 2:45 a.m. to ask police when they would arrive.
Denver police didn't show up until about 3 a.m.
When officers eventually arrived to the home on the 1500 block of S. Carlan Court in Southwest Denver, neighbors say police simply shined a flashlight and knocked on the door before leaving.
DPD documents show officers did not make contact with Rosa or her husband until he called 911 to report her dead more than five hours later at 8:16 a.m., telling dispatchers her body was "cold" and her jaw "stiff."
"I just want to know why they didn't do anything about it. She is tiny. She's only 90 pounds getting beaten by a man," said Rosa's daughter Marie Cruz.
Denver Police Chief Robert White told 9Wants to Know he has ordered a full investigation into what happened.
White says his first concern is a successful murder conviction, but he's also concerned that it took so long for police to show up, and wants to look into the actions of officers once they arrived.
"We are working with communications to determine why there was a delay in the dispatching," Chief White said. "And once the officers were dispatched, certainly look at the actions they took to make sure they were appropriate. We have to look at, you know, what kind of call? Was the complaint anonymous? How did the call get dispatched? How was the call made to communications? All those things have to be examined."
On the same front steps where neighbors say Loretta Rosa was dragged into her house, and to her death, Rosa's family gathered Monday to remember a woman who lit up their lives.
"My mom was the backbone of this whole family. It's rough on all of us. We're victims too because our hearts are broken, and we don't know where to go," her son Ray Rosa said.
Rosa's three oldest children are left to care for her two youngest, just 5 and 8, who were at a family sleep over at the time of their mom's death.
They lived with Rosa and Perea.
"If the kids were with him, who knows what he would have done to those kids," Ray Rosa said.
Perea and Rosa got married last December.
"My mom was trying to keep him out of trouble. [She was] trying to get him straight," Ray Rosa said.
9Wants to Know has learned, Perea has a rap sheet dating back more than 20 years.
Charges include car theft, weapons, drugs, felony assault, and domestic violence.
Her kids say they suspected problems, but Rosa kept everything to herself.
"She loved him too much," her son Eddie Rosa said.
Denver police let family back inside the house on Monday for the first time since Rosa's murder.
Among the things they took, the Thanksgiving turkey.
"What are we going to do without my mom? It was her time to do the Thanksgiving. Now there's not going to be a Thanksgiving without her," Ray Rosa said.
Denver police won't release the 911 tapes and won't say if they've ever been called to this house before, citing an open criminal investigation.
Rosa's family says she just bailed her husband out of jail this past August on a drug and weapons charge.
The couple started a painting business together, and she was hoping his criminal past was behind him.
Donations to the family can be made at any Wells Fargo branch, where a memorial fund has been established in the name of Loretta Rosa.
Donations can also be mailed to: Romeros Funeral Home 4750 Tejon Street Denver, CO 80211
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)