Three murders in three days in Hanover Park

Police probe third homicide
June 7, 2009 9:02:30 PM PDT
Three murders have occurred in three days in a northwest suburb of Chicago.A pregnant Hanover Park woman was beaten to death Thursday. Then, a man was stabbed to death early Saturday. Now, the DuPage County Major Crimes Task Force is investigating the death of a woman found in her home Saturday night.

Authorities ruled that death a homicide Sunday.

Hanover Park residents and community leaders were at a loss Sunday over the sudden increase in violence.

Authorities in Hanover Park say the violence is not the result of a crime spree, but rather unrelated attacks involving gang violence and domestic violence.

Harold Cherry told ABC7 Chicago his family has been touched by the spiral of violence. Police confirmed that Cherry's son, 23-year-old Diontae Roberts Cherry, was stabbed to death early Saturday after a brawl at a birthday party on Catawba Lane. Investigators say some uninvited guests reportedly turned violent fatally stabbing Roberts. Detectives have been interviewing the close to 30 people who were at the party, but no one has been charged as of yet. Roberts brothers also attended the party.

"Diontae [and] his younger brothers, you can't get any closer," said Harold Cherry.

"I get up, and I open the garage, I see all of this tape all over the place. I say ot the police, 'What, you got a crime scene over there?'" said neighborhood resident Maria Dinuzzo.

Diontae Roberts Cherry's brother, Michael Cherry, was also injured.

"He goes to the car, and the next thing you know, I'm being attacked again. I hear him say, 'I got stabbed,'" he said.

Cherry's death came just days after the slaying of Norma Favela. She was brutally beaten to death Thursday at her Linden Avenue home. Detectives say the mother of two was seven months pregnant when her boyfriend, Rafael Alvarado, flew into a jealous rage and attacked her with a hammer. The unborn child was also killed. Alvarado is now charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of intentional homicide of an unborn child. His bond was set at $10 million.

"I've been living in Hanover Park for 30 years. I figure no problems. I don't carry a lock or anything on my bike. I figure the crime rate wasn't that bad here," said Rich Wisniewski.

Police are also investigating the homicide of 51-year-old Pamela Howat. Her body was found Saturday night in her home.

DuPage State's Attorney Joe Birkett won't say how she died, but he does say several people have been questioned.

Village officials say they are concentrating on crime prevention and that they want all those who live in Hanover Park to know they are safe.


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