Law officers will gather once again today at a West Des Moines church to salute a fallen colleague.
Thousands of officers from across the state and the country joined in prayer and showed their support for the family of Des Moines Police Officer Susan Farrell are her funeral Wednesday. Her partner, Carlos Puente-Morales, died in the same accident that took Farrell’s life and he will be laid to rest today.
Des Moines police department spokesman, Sergeant Paul Parizek, says some of the officers he spoke with at Farrell’s funeral stayed in town, while others were going home and a different set of officers is returning for the second funeral.
“We’re expecting the same turnout and the same support that we received from our law enforcement family from across the state and the nation. Also the community, and the one addition, Carlos was a soldier and there will be a military presence here at the funeral and at the cemetery site,” according to Parizek. Puente-Morales, who was 34, will be buried at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter.
Parizek says the space at the Veterans Cemetery is very limited and they are asking the public to not enter the cemetery to allow room for the family and the funeral procession. Police vehicles stretched for miles with their lights flashing as Farrell’s body was taken from the church to the cemetery, and thousands of people lined also the route of funeral procession to pay their respects.
“It’s absolutely heartwarming to see people come out and support us in that manner,” Parizek says. “We talked a lot as a staff of the police department at Susan’s funeral that one thing that comes up in conversation is — the one thing we do really, really well is honor our dead — and it’s the one thing that we wish we weren’t doing. So, It’s kind of bittersweet in that sense.”
Puente-Morales’ funeral begins at 8:30 this morning a the St. Francis Assissi Catholic Church in West Des Moines. Two other people died in the crash, Tosha Hyatt was being transported from Council Bluffs in the patrol car by the officers. And police say 25-year-old Benjamin Beary was driving a car the wrong way on Interstate 80 when it struck the patrol car.
Hyatt’s funeral is Saturday in Council Bluffs. Beary’s family plans a private service.