Missing Oak Forest woman found dead

Body found in trunk of missing woman's car
June 3, 2009 (MIDLOTHIAN, Ill.) An autopsy found Irma Rodriguez was shot several times. Her death has been ruled a homicide.

Rodriguez was reported missing Sunday night. Her body was found Monday in the trunk of her own car, which was parked in Midlothian.

Irma Rodriguez was married to a former police officer and in recent years their relationship had allegedly turned violent. But if police think the husband played a role in her disappearance, they're not ready to say so.

On their hands and knees, searchers scour an Oak Forest creek and nearby retention pond. Presumably, they're looking for evidence - possibly a murder weapon - after a Rodriguez's body was found in the trunk of her car. It was parked in nearby Midlothian.

"She's a mother of three children. I mean, nobody, nobody wants to see something like this happen and she is a very nice lady. My neighbor just came over here a couple of minutes ago and she was crying because she had just talked to her," said Kelly DeGroot, victim's neighbor.

Tuesday was the day Ms. Rodriguez was supposed to be in divorce court. Proceedings began more than a year and a half ago. Her husband was a Chicago police officer, until he was fired for allegedly shooting at his wife.

Weeks after the divorce proceedings began, Officer Norberto Rodriguez was charged - but not convicted - of shooting his wife in the hand.

An internal police investigation of the incident concluded, "Officer Rodriguez unlawfully shot his wife, Irma Rodriguez, with his firearm during a domestic dispute."

Police say they haven't spoken to Mr. Rodriguez and have not called him a suspect. Still, Tuesday's discovery of the body, and water search, indicate police have a theory about what happened.

"Last night there was a marked car and an unmarked car, you know, going up and down the street, flashing their lights, looking in the ponds and the creek over there," said David Klyber who lives near the search area.

Currently, there are no suspects in custody. The south suburban major crime task force is helping with the investigation.

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