Family of 6 found dead in Gage Park home was 'targeted', CPD says

Saturday, February 6, 2016
CPD: Family of 6 found dead 'targeted'
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Chicago police say the family of six found dead in their home in Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood was "targeted".

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police say the family of six found dead in their home in Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood was "targeted."

A police spokesperson said this does not appear to be a random act of violence resulting from a home invasion or burglary. But what exactly led to this family being targeted is still a mystery.

Police found the bodies of two men, two women and two boys - ages 10 and 13 - during a well-being check Thursday. They were all members of the same family.

PHOTOS: 6 family members murdered in Gage Park home

The Cook County medical examiner's office has ruled the deaths of all six family members as homicides. Autopsies done Friday found the older female and middle-aged male were stabbed and beaten, the older male and two young boys were stabbed, and the middle-aged female was shot multiple times, the medical examiner said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victims as the Martinez family:

Noe Martinez Sr., 62

Rosaura Martinez, 58

Noe Martinez Jr., 38

Maria Herminia Martinez, 32

Leonardo Cruz, 13

Alexis Cruz, 10

The family moved into their home in the 5700-block of South California Avenue around nine years ago.

Roy said after the couple's son missed work for two days, a co-worker called police. Officers arrived at the home around 1 p.m. Thursday. Through a window, they saw what appeared to be a body on the floor inside the house.

Below is a partial transcript of what the officer told the dispatcher after arriving on the scene:

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."

Police gained entry to the home and found five more bodies in different locations inside the home. Police say the victims were likely killed between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.

"The victims suffered blunt trauma, which leads us to treat this case as a homicide," Roy said. "I think it's also important to note that there was no signs of forced entry to the residence despite rumors and reports yesterday the victims were not bound and there appears to be no ransacking in the house."

Roy said teams are still processing the "rather complex scene," which was confined to the home. He said there was no sign of forced entry and the doors were locked. The motive remains unclear.

Noe Martinez Jr. had worked for UnitedService Companies as a window washer at O'Hare since 2012. In a statement Friday, the company said it was "deeply saddened" by the news, and said Noe was a "hard worker", "good employee" and "well-liked by his co-workers."

"He's the best co-worker we have at work, and he's a nice person. He never has problem with nobody," said Fani Maldonado, Noe's co-worker.

"He was always talking about his family, his father, his mother, his sister. He always... what else can I say, man?" said Jorge Robles, Noe's co-worker.

Noe Sr. had been out of work for months and was working with the bank to keep his house. A woman who rents a nearby home from the family says he was struggling with money and ashamed.

"He would be embarrassed when he came on the first to pick up his rent and I would be like, 'No, it's fine,' and he's like, 'No, it's just like I need to make the payments,'" the woman, who wanted her identity protected, said.

A classmate of one of the boys spoke outside his friend's home on Friday.

"He never had a bad childhood. He came from a pretty good family," said Brandon Geronimo, Leonardo's friend and soccer teammate.

Now, neighbors wonder if they missed something that could help investigators.

"We feel more sorry that we didn't hear anything too, you know, maybe we could have helped or something. But we didn't hear nothing," said Mayra Diego, victims' neighbor.

"No screaming, no yelling. Nothing at all and we've been here 9 years," said Monica Arias, a neighbor. "They were a calm, quiet family."

Greg Zanis, of Aurora, traveled to place six crosses, along with stuffed animals, along the sidewalk outside the Martinez' home.

"The American Dream is just spoiled here," Zanis said.

Now, relatives in town from Texas are working with investigators.

"The first thing they told me to do was go and talk to them and figure out what was going on," said Juan Martinez, nephew.

Family members said they plan to send the remains back to Mexico. They set up a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise money to help cover the cost.

As of 10 p.m. Friday, more than $18,000 had been raised. The family said they are grateful for all of the donations.

Mexican officials are working with the consulate in Chicago to assist other members of the Martinez family.