Husband charged in death of Oak Forest woman | Autopsy revealed victim killed by strangulation, not fire

December 29, 2012 (OAK FOREST, Ill.)

Police say Rodriguez allegedly strangled his wife, which caused her death- then set the house on fire in an attempt to cover up the crime.

Rodriguez is charged wtih first degree murder and aggravated arson. The couple was married for 17 years and had three children.

He is still being treated for his injuries at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn and is in police custody.

"We have conducted a thorough and detailed investigation into this horrendous crime. Although these charges may be of little or no comfort to the family or the community, it does bring some clarity and information to them as to who committed this crime," said Oak Forest Police Chief Gregory Anderson.

Police said they initially responded to the home on the morning of December 18 after witnesses reported the fire. Upon arrival, responding units found the house on fire and Martin Rodriguez on the side porch of the house.

Upon entering the home, firefighters found Erica Rodriguez. She was pronounced deceased, but an autopsy later revealed that she had been strangled prior to the fire.

Three children, ages 17, 15 and 6, also resided at the home, but were in school at the time.

MORE FROM OAK FOREST POLICE: The family and friends of Erica Rodriguez and the Oak Forest Police Department are announcing that a fund has been established to aid the family. In addition, new clothes and toys are being accepted at the Oak Forest Police Department for the children.

A bank account has been established at the Carlinville National Bank -- Oak Forest to accept monetary donations. Checks should be made payable CNB Bank and Trust Rodriguez Family Fund. The bank is located at 5459 West 159th Street, Oak Forest, IL 60452. If someone would like to make an electronic deposit, they should contact the bank directly at 708-535-8905.

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