Family of murder victim says alcohol is the root of the tragedy - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Family of murder victim says alcohol is the root of this tragedy

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A Sioux Falls family says alcohol is at the root of a tragedy. 

Right now 22-year-old Robert Bass is in custody and is facing charges including murder in the second degree.  Sioux Falls police say Bass beat 50-year-old Chris Conde-Vargas with a baseball bat. 

"We just feel a lot of pain…a lot of pain," said Conde-Vargas' oldest daughter, Nancy Conde. 

Chris Conde-Vargas,50, leaves behind five children, a wife and several grandchildren. He would have celebrated his 51st birthday on Thursday. 

His daughters say he was a family man who loved to host family gatherings where he could cook and sing. 

"He just had a really big heart….we had some really great moments with him," said Conde-Vargas' second daughter Vanessa Lopez. 

However, during the past year, those great moments were few and far between as the family separated from their father when his alcohol use became a problem. 

"Last time I saw him is when he left...like a year ago," said Conde-Vargas' 18-year old daughter, Arlene Conde. 

"He was a very good husband, but his problem was the alcohol," said Conde-Vargas' wife of 33 years, Maria Avila. 

"That's what took our dad away, that's what we're mad at…we're mad at alcohol, we're not mad at this young man," said Vanessa.  

Police say alcohol also played a role in Conde-Vargas' murder. 

"We do know that drinking was involved. I think this had probably carried on for a better part of the night; it's hard to say what the level of intoxication was," said Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel. 

"You ask yourself why would he even do this, you're in front of a 50 year old drunk male, what makes you beat him to death?" said Conde-Vargas' 22-year old son, Aaron Conde. 

Despite sadness over losing their father, the Conde family is also saddened by the impact alcohol has had on the life of 22-year-old Robert Bass. 

"He is so young, it is my son's age, I wish the best for my son and I wish the best for every young person," said Maria.  

"I just hope that other people can see, that they can see the consequences; it could be in a second that your emotions and alcoholism can mix and hurt people," said Vanessa.

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