DA files charges against man accused of killing wife

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Christopher Perea faces charges of first-degree murder and kidnapping. (Photo: Denver DA)

DENVER – Denver’s district attorney filed first-degree murder charges against a man accused of killing his wife during a domestic abuse incident.

Christopher Perea, 41, faces two charges of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree kidnapping in the death of his wife Loretta Barela.

Police have said Perea called them on Nov. 18 to report that he may have killed his wife. Officers found her body in their home on South Carlan Court in Denver.

According to a neighbor, Barela tried to get away from her husband the night she was killed.

A neighbor has said they called 911 around 2 a.m. because Barela was screaming for help and banging on the neighbor’s door. Perea allegedly grabbed her and dragged her back into the house.

The neighbor said officers arrived around 3 a.m. and peered in the home but left without talking to anyone.

It was Perea himself who ended up calling police at 8:15 a.m. because he thought he had killed his wife.

According to a probable cause statement, Barela told dispatchers “that the body is cold and her jaw is stiff.” He told responding officers that he didn’t want to discuss what happened.

Police have not identified the officers who were first called to Barela’s home. Chief Robert White has ordered an internal investigation, which could take weeks to complete.

A Denver 911 dispatcher has been placed on paid leave during the course of the internal investigation as well.

Last week Barela’s family protested outside the State Capitol and Denver Police District Four saying police did not do enough to protect her from harm.