‘It’s like losing a brother’: Friends grapple with death of man in SW Edmonton


Summary

Family and friends are coming to grips with the homicide of Armando Cosmea-Aspillaga, who left his family behind in Cuba to start a new life in Edmonton.

“I don’t accept it at this moment yet,” said Ernesto Rodriguez, who had known the 38-year-old since they were kids growing up in Havana and considered him his best friend.

“It’s like losing a brother. I don’t have words to say what I’m feeling [at] this moment.”

ChangSha Night Net

Police said Cosmea-Aspillaga was killed Friday night in his house near Whitemud Road and 53 Avenue. They had been responding to a report of a domestic dispute.

His father-in-law, Roberto Robles, 73, is charged with second-degree murder and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon.

An autopsy determined Cosmea-Aspillaga “sustained stab wounds during a life-ending assault.” However, police said the medical examiner needs to conduct “further analysis” before formally confirming the cause of death.

Friends said Cosmea-Aspillaga lived with his estranged wife, Flavia Robles, and their two-year-old daughter. The couple was in the process of divorcing.

Police spokesperson Scott Pattison said there are no other suspects at this time. He wouldn’t say whether anyone else was inside the house at the time.

Rodriguez said Cosmea-Aspillaga had no relatives in Edmonton besides his wife, the executive director of the Kidney Foundation of Northern Alberta and former executive director of CrimeStoppers.

Cosmea-Aspillaga worked in a warehouse when he first moved to Edmonton in 2011, then took a position in shipping and receiving.

“He was happy [after moving to Edmonton],” said Rodriguez, who now lives in Miami, and would speak on the phone with Cosmea-Aspillaga for an hour or two several times a week.

“The first [little while] he concentrated on work. He worked hard all the time to try [to] provide everything [for the family].”

Jensy Menendez met Cosmea-Aspillaga through his little sister when she was seven years old.

Jensy Menendez met Cosmea-Aspillaga through his little sister when she was seven years old.

Contributed

The pair stayed in touch growing up in Cuba and especially after both moved to Edmonton. She said Cosmea-Aspillaga met Robles at her wedding.

Menendez said she saw Cosmea-Aspillaga almost every day and they spoke several times a day on the phone.

Friday was her birthday and Cosmea-Aspillaga was expected to attend the party she had planned. At noon, he called and the two spoke briefly. It would be the last time she ever heard his voice.

“I rushed it, that conversation. Because I was at work I said, ‘I’m sorry, I have to go.’ ”

She said she started to worry after friends had trouble reaching Cosmea-Aspillaga by phone around 5 p.m. that day.

“We were very upset. Then, by the time the hour passed, it was no longer [about being upset], it was worrying. We were worried about him. We kept on calling and calling until [a friend] got a call from police saying he was dead.

“I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it.”

Menendez said it has been tough trying to process his death.

“[Cosmea-Aspillaga] didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was a peacemaker, not a fighter. He was a very friendly person. Everybody that met him got to love him because he had a great personality, very friendly, very trustworthy personality.

“He was my family here. I think he’s going to call me again or he’s going to text me. This is not real. I ask, ‘Why him?’ He was a good person. We lost a good person.”


Family and friends are coming to grips with the homicide of Armando Cosmea-Aspillaga, who left his family behind in Cuba to start a new life in Edmonton.

“I don’t accept it at this moment yet,” said Ernesto Rodriguez, who had known the 38-year-old since they were kids growing up in Havana and considered him his best friend.

“It’s like losing a brother. I don’t have words to say what I’m feeling [at] this moment.”

ChangSha Night Net

Police said Cosmea-Aspillaga was killed Friday night in his house near Whitemud Road and 53 Avenue. They had been responding to a report of a domestic dispute.

His father-in-law, Roberto Robles, 73, is charged with second-degree murder and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon.

An autopsy determined Cosmea-Aspillaga “sustained stab wounds during a life-ending assault.” However, police said the medical examiner needs to conduct “further analysis” before formally confirming the cause of death.

Friends said Cosmea-Aspillaga lived with his estranged wife, Flavia Robles, and their two-year-old daughter. The couple was in the process of divorcing.

Police spokesperson Scott Pattison said there are no other suspects at this time. He wouldn’t say whether anyone else was inside the house at the time.

Rodriguez said Cosmea-Aspillaga had no relatives in Edmonton besides his wife, the executive director of the Kidney Foundation of Northern Alberta and former executive director of CrimeStoppers.

Cosmea-Aspillaga worked in a warehouse when he first moved to Edmonton in 2011, then took a position in shipping and receiving.

“He was happy [after moving to Edmonton],” said Rodriguez, who now lives in Miami, and would speak on the phone with Cosmea-Aspillaga for an hour or two several times a week.

“The first [little while] he concentrated on work. He worked hard all the time to try [to] provide everything [for the family].”

Jensy Menendez met Cosmea-Aspillaga through his little sister when she was seven years old.

Jensy Menendez met Cosmea-Aspillaga through his little sister when she was seven years old.

Contributed

The pair stayed in touch growing up in Cuba and especially after both moved to Edmonton. She said Cosmea-Aspillaga met Robles at her wedding.

Menendez said she saw Cosmea-Aspillaga almost every day and they spoke several times a day on the phone.

Friday was her birthday and Cosmea-Aspillaga was expected to attend the party she had planned. At noon, he called and the two spoke briefly. It would be the last time she ever heard his voice.

“I rushed it, that conversation. Because I was at work I said, ‘I’m sorry, I have to go.’ ”

She said she started to worry after friends had trouble reaching Cosmea-Aspillaga by phone around 5 p.m. that day.

“We were very upset. Then, by the time the hour passed, it was no longer [about being upset], it was worrying. We were worried about him. We kept on calling and calling until [a friend] got a call from police saying he was dead.

“I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it.”

Menendez said it has been tough trying to process his death.

“[Cosmea-Aspillaga] didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was a peacemaker, not a fighter. He was a very friendly person. Everybody that met him got to love him because he had a great personality, very friendly, very trustworthy personality.

“He was my family here. I think he’s going to call me again or he’s going to text me. This is not real. I ask, ‘Why him?’ He was a good person. We lost a good person.”