6 found dead in Gage Park

ByWill Jones WLS logo
Friday, February 5, 2016
6 found dead in Gage Park
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A relative said the six people found dead in a Gage Park home were members of the same family.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Six people were found dead Thursday afternoon in a home in the Gage Park neighborhood on Chicago's Southwest Side. A relative said they were members of the same family, and two children are among the dead.

Police conducting a well-being check discovered six bodies around 1:30 p.m. in the 5700-block of S. California. A cause of death has not been determined.

PHOTOS: 6 family members murdered in Gage Park

Police said the victims are four men, a woman, and a child. However, a relative identifies the victims as the Martinez family: a husband and wife in their 60s, their son, daughter, and the daughter's two children.

The Martinez family was close. Noe Martinez Sr. and his wife, Rosa, moved to this home in Gage Park about nine years ago. Their nephew, Juan Martinez, visited them during the holidays.

"Everything seemed normal, nothing was wrong. She was just telling me things about her life and how she had been. She didn't give me a story of nothing bad - everything was just normal," he said.

More relatives are now on their way to Chicago from Texas.

I-TEAM: Searching for answers in Gage Park: What happened on California Ave?

Friends say the couple's son, Noe Jr., was a window cleaner for United Airlines at O'Hare Airport and didn't go to work the last two days, so a co-worker called police.

Responding officers viewed what they believed to be a body on the floor inside the home, Interim Supt. John Escalante said. They then discovered the six bodies in different locations inside the residence.

OFFICER: "It's going to be a crime scene. This guy looks like he's been stabbed multiple times."

DISPATCHER: "About how many people do you got down?"

OFFICER: "So far we just see one, but the neighbors say that there is...about ahh...6 people living there."

Maria "Herminia" Martinez and her two sons, Leonardo and Alexis.

Relatives said the couple's daughter, Maria Martinez - also known as Herminia - was also found dead with her two sons, Leonardo and Alexis. Several of her friends came to the scene.

"Very, very good. No problems," said Susana Luna, a family friend. "No problems, no drugs. Nothing."

"They were a really happy family," said Jennifer de la Torre, another family friend.

Police say the bodies had trauma - and that, at this point, there appears to be no threat to the community.

"There's a very real possibility that this is all something internal that was contained within the residence," Escalante said.

Detectives in head-to-toe protective gear could be seen combing the house for evidence. A motive remains unclear, and Escalante says they haven't ruled anything out.

"This is going to take some time because we want to be thorough and careful to collect as much evidence as we can," Escalante said.

California Ave. was shut down by police between 57th and 58th as police continued to investigate. Thomas Conners has lived in Gage Park a few years and said he has never seen anything like this.

"We just got home shopping and they had the street blocked off," Conners said. "The cops just kept on coming and coming and coming."

"This is really shocking. You don't hear too much. It is considered to be a decent neighborhood," said Ted Villazana.

Although police are say there is no threat to anyone in the community, they have increased their patrols, trying to calm safety concerns. Still, many are not going to rest easy until they find out what exactly happened inside their neighbor's house.

"If it wasn't a murder-suicide you got to figure it had to be more than one person to take four guys," Conners said.

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