3 charged in murder of Michael Armendariz, who went missing a year ago

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(Left to right) Ernest Collins, Cassandra Green and Candice Jones are charged in connection with the murder of Michael Armendariz, of Naperville.

Bond was denied for three people accused of the first-degree murder of a Naperville man who went missing a year ago.

Ernest Collins, 22, and his girlfriend, Cassandra Green, 21, both of Rockford, and his mother, Candice Jones, 38, of Chicago - appeared in bond court Saturday morning for the murder of Michael Armendariz, according to the DuPage County state's attorney's office.

On Jan. 18, 2018, Naperville police responded to a call about a missing person, Armendariz, 21, who prosecutors said was last seen the night of Jan. 14, 2018.

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Armendariz reportedly received an electronic communication from Green at 9:11 p.m. that night. Authorities believe upon receiving the communication, Armendariz left his apartment in the 100 block of South Whispering Hills Drive and got into an SUV driven by Green in the parking lot of the apartment complex before Green drove off.

Collins allegedly emerged from the back several minutes later and shot Armendariz twice in the back of the head before the duo drove to Jones' house in the 6800 block of South Artesian Avenue in the Marquette Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side. She helped place the man's body in a garbage can that was in her garage.

The garbage can was later moved to the garage of the vacant house next door, prosecutors said. It is also alleged that Collins and Green took Armendariz's apartment keys and burglarized his apartment the next day.

Armendariz's body was discovered May 31, and an investigation was started by Chicago police, prosecutors said. The investigation led to Collins and Green being taken into custody Monday in Rockford, while Jones was taken into custody Wednesday in Chicago.

The trio was charged with one count each of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and armed robbery, and concealment of a homicidal death, prosecutors said. Collins and Green were also charged with one count of residential burglary.

"The investigation into the execution of an unsuspecting man is an outstanding example of law enforcement agencies working together," DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said. "Thanks to the truly outstanding work and cooperation of several law enforcement agencies, these three defendants, Mr. Collins, Ms. Green and Ms. Jones, find themselves before a judge this morning with first-degree murder for the pre-meditated murder of Michael Armendariz."

"This investigation required intense resilience and diligence on the part of our detectives and law enforcement partners," Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall said.

The next court appearance for the trio of defendants is scheduled for March 4 for arraignment.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2017.)
Related Topics:
bondshomicidemurdermissing manNaperville