Polk County School Cafeteria Worker Arrested For Murdering Boyfriend

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HAINES CITY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A Polk County school cafeteria worker was arrested on Friday, September 24 after stabbing her boyfriend to death on Thursday night.

Rose Marie Hernandez-Rosa, 38, is charged with second degree homicide and tampering with evidence. She is a cafeteria worker at Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy.

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Rose Marie Hernandez-Rosa

Officers arrived after 1:30 a.m. Friday to find her living boyfriend Joyssie Weayne Colon Candelaria, 34, lying in a puddle of his own blood in a bathroom in the Parkview Village apartment he and Hernandez-Rosa shared. . Polk County Emergency Medical Services responded and declared Colon Candelaria dead before 2 a.m.

Through investigation, detectives found a single puncture wound in the left collarbone area. An autopsy revealed that Colon Candelaria was fatally injured in an artery, causing him to bleed. Blood was also found throughout the bathroom, including the walls and the tub.

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Hernandez-Rosa first claimed to have found Colon Candelaria lying on his stomach before calling 911. She told detectives that Colon Candelaria was a cocaine user, but denied ever seeing him use cocaine. None were found at the scene.

Hernandez-Rosa said the two were involved in a physical altercation earlier in the evening, but denied stabbing him until he was shown a photo of the injury. Hernandez-Rosa then said that during the altercation she had a pair of scissors in her hand and this is what she used to stab him. She told detectives that after the stabbing, she rushed to her room and locked the door.

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Hernandez-Rosa gave several accounts of what she did with the scissors. She first said they were in her room before later claiming to have thrown them in a community dumpster. The scissors were not found.

Colon Candelaria and Hernandez-Rosa have a history of domestic violence, including the arrest of Colon Candelaria in 2018. Hernandez-Rosa said the two had not slept in the same room for three months due to ongoing fighting. Neighbors told detectives the two fought almost daily.

A neighbor, who could see inside the apartment, claimed to have seen Hernandez-Rosa repeatedly hit Colon Candelaria. Hernandez-Rosa claimed to have acted in self-defense. There is no indication that she suffered any injuries during the altercation.

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A child was present at the time but did not witness the altercation. Hernandez-Rosa was arrested and transported to Polk County Jail.

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“Thanks to the painstaking, diligent and exceptional work of our detectives, we were able to make an arrest in this case,” said Acting Police Chief Loyd Stewart. “If you are a victim of domestic violence, whether you are a woman or a man, I implore you to seek out the resources available and come out of these relationships.

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