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After 5 Years, Wife Gets Fallen Connecticut Police Officer's Name on National Memorial

NEW HAVEN, Conn. --

There were 316 names added to the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial this year in Washington, D.C. One of those names was Connecticut Officer Robert V. Fumiatti.

Fumiatti was killed nearly five years ago in the line of duty.

"When I saw his name, it was just a huge relief," said Fumiatti's wife, Stacey. "He's finally on the wall. It's what he would have wanted."

Stacey Fumiatti and her family have spent the past four years writing letters in an attempt to have Robert Fumiatti's name added to the 19,000 others listed at the memorial.

But when the 35-year-old died in 2007, his death wasn't declared as in the line of duty.

Robert Fumiatti was shot in 2002 while on a drug raid and immediately began having problems with his heart.

"He had a pacemaker put in, and he died in 2007 from heart complications," Stacey said.

Stacey said the city of New Haven immediately acknowledged that her husband's death was related to the shooting, and she and her children were compensated for their loss, but they never got any help on a national level.

"It was pretty obvious what he died from," Stacey said. "But they couldn't really cross their t's and dot their i's with it."

But after nearly five years of appealing the federal decision, the Fumiatti family convinced the courts that Robert did ultimately die in the line of duty and his name was finally added to the memorial wall over the weekend.

Each May, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund adds the names of officers killed while on duty and holds a ceremony for the fallen officers' families.

"He's finally on the wall," Stacey said. "It's what he would have wanted."

Per tradition, Stacey said her three children rubbed their father's name onto strips of paper.

"The kids were etching the name, and we went back the next day and my daughter had, like, 30 pieces of paper. She kept etching and etching," Stacey said.

The family returned to the wall for three days, and when they were ready to leave Washington, D.C., they stopped by one last time.

"It was really like saying goodbye to him," Stacey said. "Rob was a cop's cop, and he was always honored to put on his dress blues. He always polished his shoes. He was so excited to get the K-9.

The family still owns the dog, a 10-year-old black Lab named Major.

E-mail news tips to Eyewitness News, or dial: 866-289-0333.Connecticut's latest breaking news is on WFSB.com and Channel 3 Eyewitness News.

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