Family pleads for killer to come forward

August 24, 2009 7:03:48 AM PDT
A relative of 16th Ward Chicago Ald. Joann Thompson was found dead over the weekend. The body of Wilfredo Gines, 31, was discovered Saturday night inside his SUV in Hammond, Ind.Gines is the father of two of Alderman Thompson's grandchildren. Sunday the victim's family was speaking out at a press conference, asking for his killer to come forward and asking for the public's help in finding the killer.

"I just want to know who did this to my father," Jessica Gines said tearfully.

There was a steady stream of mourners at the Chicago home of Wilfredo Hines Sunday, as family members and friends remained shocked about his death.

"My kids are hurting, and I'm hurting, too, to see my kids suffereing like this. They took away a good father," said Latrece Thompson, mother of the victim's children. "They've seen their father every day, and I want whoever did this to be brought to justice. Please, for my kids."

Hammond police found the body of the 31-year-old part-time mechanic and forklift operator Saturday evening in one of the city's residential neighborhoods. Authorities located him in the back of his Ford Expedition. Investigators said he suffered severe head trauma.

A family member filed a missing person's report after Gines did not return Wednesday from a trip to recover some tools he had loaned to two men in Chicago Heights. Those men reportedly told detectives that Gines told them he was driving to Indiana to get gasoline for his SUV.

Relatives say the last traceable cell phone call from Gines was placed from Hammond, Ind.

Despite earlier reports that Hammond police were calling the man's death a homicide, police would only say Sunday that the case is a death investigation.

It seems the man's death has devastated almost everyone who knew him.

"It was tools and a friendship that he didn't want anymore because he felt he wasn't going to benefit from it, I guess," said Edwin Montalvo, the victim's brother. "All I want to say is, you know who you are, and you know what you did. He's my only brother, and I hope justice is served."

"We're asking for any information leading to the arrest of anyone had involvement in this crime," Thompson said.

The Cook County medical examiner said Sunday evening that an autopsy was still pending. Therefore, Gines' official cause of death remained unknown.

Hammond police said Sunday that there were suspects or arrests in the case.

The community activists group No Guns, No Violence is offering a $3,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.


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