Thousands of people attended Friday morning’s funeral for Des Moines Police Officer Carlos Puente-Morales. Puente-Morales was among four people killed in a crash along Interstate 80 early Saturday morning.
Funeral services were held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in West Des Moines. Burial services will take place at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter following the service and procession.
The funeral procession begins at the church parking lot then heads west on Woodland Avenue and will continue south onto Jordan Creek Parkway, then headed east onto Grand Avenue, it will then head west on Raccoon River drive to Mill Street where it will continue north through Van Meter, continuing north along Veterans Memorial Drive to the Veterans cemetery.
Organizers with the Des Moines Police Department said they expected several thousand mourners to be in attendance. They estimate that 800-1,000 law enforcement vehicles will fill the parking lot of the church. Officers from as far away as Florida will be in attendance.
Carlos was born September 4, 1981 in Las Cruces, New Mexico while his father Sergio was studying for his PhD., and was raised there as well as in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He moved to Ackley, Iowa to finish high school and then earned an associate degree in law enforcement from Ellsworth Community College. His law enforcement career began in Eldora, Iowa at the jail and continued in Dows and Ottumwa as a police officer before moving to Des Moines. Since April 27, 2015 he had worked as a Des Moines Police Officer for the 3rd Watch Patrol and was well respected by his fellow officers. Carlos earned his B.S. degree in criminal justice. He served in the Iowa Army National Guard as a SSG and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was very disciplined and had high expectations for his soldiers but they respected and trusted him. Carlos earned a combat infantry badge and an Army achievement medal. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus.
Carlos was a loving and dedicated son who provided morale support for his parents. They knew they could always count on him. He was a loving father, excellent brother and an amazing friend. After his brother, Sergio Antonio passed away, Carlos dedicated himself to providing unity with his nieces and nephews in order to pull the family together. Carlos was always friendly, welcoming, respectful, happy, had a great smile, and loved to joke around. He loved his religion, was community orientated, was proud of his Mexican heritage, and enjoyed watching the Tigres soccer team in Monterrey.
He is survived by his mother, Maria de Rocio Morales Contreras; brother, Alejandro (Grysel) Puente-Morales; two sons, Austin Jay Puente and Carlos Noah Puente; daughter, Sofia Guadalupe Puente; his soulmate, Samara Brush; nieces and nephews, Alexis, Sidney, Alejandro B., Ashley, Sergio Ethan, and Addyson; as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family back in Mexico. Carlos was preceded in death by his father, Sergio Puente Tristan; brother Sergio Antonio Puente-Morales; his grandparents; and his aunt.
Visitation with the family will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday with a 7 pm. Rosary service at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Memorial contributions may be directed to his mother so that a memorial in Carlos’ name can be established to help those in need in the Des Moines area community.