Homicide Detective Accused of Helping Girlfriend After Murder to Be Fired

Police have been investigating detective for possibly helping his girlfriend after she allegedly stabbed her ex-husband to death

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says the department intends to fire a homicide detective accused of helping his girlfriend after she allegedly killed her ex-husband.

Ramsey announced on Friday that Homicide Detective Ron Dove, a 16-year veteran of the force, was suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss. Officials say he violated departmental policy by failing to cooperate with their investigation and they also accused him of lying.

In recent weeks, Philadelphia Police's Internal Affairs Division has widened its investigation into whether Dove helped his girlfriend, Erica Sanchez, in the hours after she allegedly stabbed her ex-husband to death.

Police say Cesar Vera was stabbed in the chest by Sanchez inside his home along the 3300 block of N. 5th Street on Sept. 8.

Sanchez, 33, was dating Dove at the time of the alleged murder, according to sources.

Sources say the detective allegedly moved Sanchez's vehicle from the crime scene, allowed her to use his car, hired her an attorney and told other detectives to "go easy on her."

Dove was pulled off the street and reassigned when the allegations came to light. Sanchez later turned herself in and was charged in the crime.

Investigators are also looking at whether Dove mishandled information in three other cases he was working -- including the murder of 22-year-old Melanie Colon.

Colon's decomposing body was found in a wooded area behind the Maple Lane Apartment complex along the 700 block of Maple Lane on May 12, 2012. She had been shot multiple times and was found a week after being reported missing.

Police believe the woman's boyfriend, Reynaldo Torres, was also with her and was killed. His body has never been found.

Sources tell NBC10's Harry Hairston that information found on Dove's iPad, which was confiscated in a raid on his home, led authorities to take a second look at Colon's case.

“I’m hurt. It makes me think about the police department in Philadelphia," said Louis Colon, Melanie Colon's father.

Information found on Dove's iPad prompted detectives to search an area along the 400 block of Westmoreland Street this week, according to police sources. During that search, a police K9 officer picked up the possible scent of human remains.

Detectives are also taking another look at two other cases, dating back to 2010, where Dove may have withheld or mishandled information, according to police. That brings the number of cases police are examining to four.

"We are working hand and glove on this to find out if anything was mishandled or if there was any effort to withhold information," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said several weeks ago.

Officials say all of the investigations are active and on-going.

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