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Wife of fallen Burnsville police officer Paul Elmstrand recalls their incredible love story

Wife of Fallen Burnsville police officer Paul Elmstrand recalls their incredible relationship
Wife of Fallen Burnsville police officer Paul Elmstrand recalls their incredible relationship 03:05

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — "The last text he sent me that night was, miss you baby," Cindy Elmstrand-Castruita said.

She heard those three words often from her husband, Officer Paul Elmstrand, she could never have imagined she'd heard those words for the last time.

Elmstrand along with Officer Matthew Ruge and SWAT paramedic Adam Finseth were shot and killed nearly two weeks ago, during a standoff.

On Friday evening, Elmstrand-Castruita sat down with WCCO's Ubah Ali to give everyone a glimpse into the life they shared.

Sitting on the couch, with a beige sweater on, she tried hard to hold back tears remembering how they both met.

She said they went to the same schools since kindergarten and their love blossomed at the Elmstrand family strawberry farm where they worked together.

"He's just been my home, my safe place," she smiled.

Like those strawberries, their love grew, and multiplied, as they welcomed 2-year-old Maria and 6-month-old Mateo.

Flipping through her phone, she giggled seeing Paul and Maria being silly together, and paused seeing the happiness on their face.

"Her eyes light up and say dada, they were just so silly together and laughed together," she said.

Elmstrand-Castruita said her emotions have been all over the place since that tragic day, some days she asks herself why, why did he have to be brave, other times she remembers how selfless he was.

"He was always going to choose to put his life on the line if it came down to it," she said. "If I was able to have one last conversation with him I would tell him, that I love him he couldn't have been a better dad."

These days, she's finding comfort in videos and pictures of all of their happy moments. Along with the immense love she's felt from the community.

"That's why I say I feel like he's still finding a way to spoil me," said Elmstrand-Castruita. "I feel so taken care of and loved."

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