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Ex-girlfriend of Delavan shooter complained to police

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Mike Heine
December 16, 2007
— Seventeen months before Ambrosio Analco murdered his ex-girlfriend, killed four others and then shot himself, the ex-girlfriend complained to Elkhorn police that Analco had strangled her with electrical cords.

He was never arrested or charged.


Nicole M. McAffee wrote in a domestic abuse victim worksheet in January 2006 that Analco had abused her “around 50-60 times,” including strangling her with electrical cords and pushing, kicking, punching, slapping, shoving, banging her head, pulling her hair and attempting to strangle or suffocate her.


“He has taken electric cords and has wrapped it around my neck and has strangled me to the point where I was gasping for air,” McAffee wrote.


Despite McAffee’s domestic abuse complaint to police, Analco never was arrested.


Police and prosecutors blame a breakdown in communication between their offices.


On June 9, Analco killed McAffee inside their Delavan apartment. He also killed their infant twin sons, McAffee’s sister and their friend before he took his own life. He also shot his 20-month-old daughter in the chest during the rampage.


The baby survived.


Background

On Jan. 27, 2006, an Elkhorn police officer took a domestic violence report from McAffee at the apartment she shared with Analco, 29 West St., No. 4. McAffee told the officer she was afraid to leave Analco.


“Honestly, I’m scared to death of him,” McAffee said, according to the officer’s report. “… I want him to be in his daughter’s life, but I don’t want to have to get killed for it.”


On the day McAffee made the report, Analco had pushed her and started choking her because she told him she was going to leave.


Their baby, Jasmine, who survived the June 9 shooting, started crying during the abuse, and Analco went to check on her, according to the police report.


“Nicole stated she is afraid of what would have happened if the baby did not start crying to divert his attention,” the report reads.


“He’s also told me that if I called the cops he would kill me,” McAffee told the reporting officer. “And he told me he would kill my family. He’s threatened to kill my family to get to his daughter.”


Breakdown

After McAffee’s report, police sent a prosecution request to the Walworth County District Attorney’s office, seeking charges of false imprisonment, a felony, and disorderly conduct and battery, both misdemeanors.


Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo wrote a letter back to police asking for verification of Analco’s identity through his fingerprints. Analco has several aliases, including Gilberto Garza and Argenis Analco.


“It is of vital importance that the proper name for the defendant be listed on the warrant,” Donohoo wrote in a letter to Elkhorn police. “We cannot ask the court to issue a warrant for a person until we have ascertained his identity.”


Police sent a request for the analysis of Analco’s fingerprints. The results from the state crime lab came back to Analco and Garza—apparently, the same man using two names.


But the investigation stopped there.


“It appears we didn’t communicate (the results),” Elkhorn Police Chief Joel Christensen said. “As we saw in the report, there was no addition as far as (further) personal communication with the DA’s office.”


The district attorney’s office never asked Elkhorn police if the results were returned, District Attorney Phil Koss said.


“I saw from the file that it was tickled to see if that information came in, and it didn’t,” he said “I can’t tell that we ever contacted the Elkhorn Police Department (again).”


Koss said his office relied on the police department to submit the information when it was available.


“All I can say is that we have 2,000 some cases and they usually are very good when they get a crime lab report. They know it has to come to us,” he said.


The office closed the report after it hadn’t heard back from either Elkhorn police or McAffee, who was sent a letter to contact the district attorney’s office about the pending charges.


The Elkhorn Police Department never heard back from McAffee either, Christensen said.


Bewilderment

Officers last spoke to McAffee on Jan. 28, 2006, a day after the reported abuse.


On Jan. 31, 2006, McAffee’s mother, Christina M. Johnson, told police she had not seen her daughter since the day before. She suspected she might be with Analco.


The night of Jan. 30, Johnson drove by the apartment and saw several people moving items out. They did not know where McAffee was.


An officer, Johnson and an apartment manager went inside and found all of Analco’s things gone and McAffee’s things ready to be moved, according to the police report.


On Feb. 1, 2006, Johnson told police McAffee had called her sister and said she was OK and wanted to come home. She did not say where she was.


There was no further contact with any of the family members indicated in the police report.


Breakup

McAffee’s attempt to leave Analco apparently was short-lived. The 72-hour no-contact order she signed when she made the complaint expired, and she never applied for a permanent restraining order.


McAffee and Analco later had twin boys, who were 6 months old when they were killed. That means they were conceived after McAffee made the police report.


“I think Nicole still wanted their children to have a part of their dad in their lives. That’s who she was,” McAffee’s aunt Karen ‘Dee Dee’ Sittler said in an interview after the murders. “But I also believe in my heart that if she didn’t (allow that) that he would do something.”


Family of Analco say the two hadn’t been seeing each other at the time of the shootings, but Analco had occasional custody of the children.


It was reported he was returning the children to McAffee the night of the murders.


Speculation

Christensen said police and prosecutors didn’t know in January 2006 that Analco would go on a shooting spree more than a year later.


“It would be unwise to speculate other than from the history of domestic violence itself,” Christensen said. “You never know which is going to result in a tragedy like the one that took place over in Delavan.”


Even if Analco had been arrested, he might not have been charged, Koss said.


McAffee never again came forward to police, and she apparently ended up back with Analco. Victims’ feelings are considered when making charging decisions, and it will never be known what McAffee would have wanted if Analco had been arrested, Koss said.


“Knowing what I know now, I would have recommended the maximum (sentence) because he turned out to be a murderer,” Koss said. “But I assume this would (have been) a probation with county jail case. Sentencing really depends on victim input, too. They did get back together, I know that.”


It’s too late for blame, Christensen and Koss said.


“I think Elkhorn does a fine job. It’s sad to see it happen in one of these cases,” Koss said. “It’s an officer or department nightmare that something like this happens, but we see people who get out on signature bonds who go out and re-offend.


“That’s always a concern with a department—that the unknown will happen or the worst-case scenario will happen,” Koss said.


“In this case, it did.”



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