Community grapples with murder of family in Gage Park

Michelle Gallardo Image
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Family murdered in Gage Park was targeted
A steady stream of people have visited the Martinez home to pray and remember the family.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police say a family of six found murdered in their home in the Gage Park neighborhood was "targeted," and a local alderman is calling on the killer to come forward.

On Saturday, a steady stream of people visited the home of the Martinez family in the 5700-block of South California Avenue to pray together and leave mementos, as police investigators returned to the home.

"I just want people in the city to know, just keep us in your prayers," said Ald. Toni Foulkes (16th Ward), who lives five blocks away. "Keep this family in your prayers. And hope justice will be served."

The victims were identified as Noe Martinez Sr., 62; his wife, Rosaura Martinez, 58; their children Noe Martinez Jr., 38, and Maria Herminia Martinez, 32; as well as their grandchildren Leonardo Cruz, 13, and Alexis Cruz, 10, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. Their deaths were ruled homicides.

PHOTOS: 6 family members murdered in Gage Park home

Most of the Martinez family live in either Texas or Mexico, where they are originally from. Relatives said Saturday via telephone that those who have made it to Chicago are planning a vigil Sunday afternoon. They are hoping to repatriate the bodies to Mexico for burial.

Meanwhile, police said the murder of the family does not appear to be a random act of violence resulting from a home invasion or burglary, a police official said. However, a motive has not been determined. Police said there were no signs of forced entry and the doors were locked. Also, it does not appear anything was stolen.

"They community is cooperative and they have provided us with a number of items for information," said Eugene Roy, chief of detectives for the Chicago Police Department. "And again those are things the detectives are following up on."

Autopsies completed on 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.

They were found after Noe Martinez Jr.'s co-worker called police when he missed work for two days. He had worked for UnitedService Companies as a window washer at O'Hare International Airport.

Officers saw what appeared to be a body on the floor inside the house. 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.

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.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise money to help cover the cost.

As of 10 p.m. Saturday, more than $25,000 had been raised.