DALLAS — On Thursday hundreds will gather to mourn the passing of fallen Grand Prairie police officer AJ Castanada, but as of right now, Castanada’s fiancée will not be among those in attendance.
Castanada’s fiancée Noemi Aroste lives in Peru. After Castanada’s passing, she tried to get an emergency travel visa, but was denied.
Aroste spoke with WFAA Tuesday, just hours after an emergency meeting with the U.S. Embassy.
“I don’t have the visa, and this morning, I was interviewed at the embassy, but I can’t get the visa,” Aroste said. “Now is very difficult for me, very very sad.”
Aroste and Castanada had been dating for a year. They traveled to different parts of the world together and had a wedding planned for July.
Now, Aroste is sadly planning to attend his funeral, but the U.S. Embassy may not allow it.
“The fact that she’s stuck there is a hard pill to swallow,” said Missy Steppe, herself the wife of a Grand Prairie police officer. “If she misses this opportunity, I don’t know if she will recover.”
Steppe has been working with Castanada’s family and others trying to get the embassy to change its mind.
“Coming from a law enforcement background, we understand it, but a little bit of compassion and understand that, this is not something that we can wait on, and I just want them to just grant her the visa,” Steppe said.
Aroste thinks she may have been denied because she does not own property in Peru, and the country may fear she’s fleeing.
A state department official wrote WFAA and said in a statement that they cannot comment on specific cases.
“We have each other to hug, and to cry, and to hug, and to reminisce, and she’s there, sitting there, in limbo,” Steppe said. “She needs us like we need her here. So I want them to let her come.”