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Polk school cafeteria worker charged with second-degree homicide

Hernandez-Rosa, 38, first denies then confesses to stabbing boyfriend with scissors, police say.
A Polk County Schools employee was arrested Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Police said she stabbed her boyfriend with scissors.
A Polk County Schools employee was arrested Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Police said she stabbed her boyfriend with scissors. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Sep. 25
Updated Sep. 25

HAINES CITY — A 38-year-old cafeteria worker in Polk County was arrested and charged with second-degree homicide after her boyfriend died from stab wounds, police said.

Officers found Joyssie Weayne Colon Candelaria with a wound above his left collarbone in a bathroom at a Parkview Village apartment he lived in with his girlfriend, Rose Marie Hernandez-Rosa, Haines City police said in a news release on Saturday. Polk County Emergency Medical Services pronounced him dead just before 2 a.m. Friday.

Hernandez-Rosa is employed by Polk County Schools as a cafeteria worker at Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy, according to police. She called 911 after saying she found him lying face down, but officials said she gave multiple accounts of the evening. She said Colon Candelaria used cocaine but also she never saw him use it, police said. Detectives did not find any evidence of cocaine at the scene.

Hernandez-Rosa said they had an argument which turned physical Thursday evening but denied stabbing her 34-year-old boyfriend, according to police. After detectives showed her a picture of the stab wound, police said, she confessed to having scissors and used them to stab Colon Candelaria.

An autopsy found Colon Candelaria’s artery was punctured, and he died from blood loss, police said.

Detectives did not find the scissors. Hernandez-Rosa first said they were in her bedroom, and then later said she threw the scissors away in a community dumpster, police said. She also was charged with tampering with evidence.

Police said a child was present but did not witness the stabbing.

Rose Marie Hernandez-Rosa was booked into Polk County Jail and charged with second-degree murder.
Rose Marie Hernandez-Rosa was booked into Polk County Jail and charged with second-degree murder. [ Polk County Jail ]

Hernandez-Rosa was booked into the Polk County Jail.

Neighbors said the couple fought almost daily, and Hernandez-Rosa said the two have slept in different rooms for three months because of fighting, police said. Colon Candelaria was arrested in 2018 and charged with domestic violence, according to public records.