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The funeral for 36-year-old Los Alamos Police Corporal Alfred Roybal, Jr. is scheduled for Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Canada. Burial to follow at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Santa Cruz, according to information in an obituary that will be published in Tuesday's Los Alamos Monitor.
Public visitation will begin on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at Northern New Mexico Community College with a rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m.
Roybal is survived by his wife, Katya; parents, Alfred and Beatrice; children, Kaitlyn, Mateo, Nicolas and John.
Retiring Los Alamos Police Department chief Wayne Torpy made the trip to the Justice Center office Friday just to see if could bring some comfort to the department’s employees.
Those close to the LAPD were undoubtedly stunned by news of Roybal’s death. Roybal was said to be in Angel Fire on a camping trip when he died Thursday night.
According to a family friend, who wished not to be identified, the family thinks Roybal either died of a heart attack or died in his sleep.
“It’s really, really sad,” the family friend said. “He was camping in Angel Fire with his wife and kids and Friday morning, they tried to wake him up. They could not wake him up and one of his kids called 911.”
The family friend and acting police chief Phil Taylor confirmed that Roybal’s body was sent to Albuquerque to the Office of Medical Investigation.
“The autopsy will be on Tuesday,” the friend said.
The friend was at Roybal’s parents’ house in Arroyo Seco.
“There were close to three dozen people at the house,” the friend said.
Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.
Torpy, meanwhile, said during his eight years as chief, Roybal was an exemplary member of the force, who proved time and time again what community policing was all about. He credits Roybal for being one of many that helped him through medical issues that ultimately forced Torpy to retire.
County officials are currently sifting through candidates for a new police chief, and could have a new one as soon as September.
“I’ve worked with him for eight and a half years,” Torpy said. “He was a gentleman of a man who was always helpful, funny. He was also very helpful, thoughtful and considerate when it came to what I was going through. I’m deeply saddened for him and his family. This is a huge loss to the county and the Los Alamos Police Department.”
Torpy added that it was hard not to like Roybal.
“What always stood out about Alfred was that I never had anybody ever say anything about him except what a gentleman he was and how nicely he treated them. Whether it was someone who got a speeding ticket from him or someone that was working a case. As a chief, I probably appreciated that more than anything else,” Torpy said.
According to personnel files, Roybal lived in Espanola and was married with two children. He was hired in 2002 as a police officer and had been promoted to the rank of corporal, primarily working in field operations and patrolling neighborhoods.
Los Alamos County issued the following statement Friday morning.
County administrator Harry Burgess said, “I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Alfred’s family and friends during this difficult time. We are saddened at the loss of this fine young police officer. Our thoughts and prayers are with LAPD and those who worked with Alfred during his 11 years in public service.”
Acting police Chief Phil Taylor said Roybal passed away peacefully and was on a camping trip in Taos County.
“I can’t release any of the technical details,” Taylor said.