East Chicago police ask for public's help solving gruesome 2021 murders

Angelica Casares killed in home with AK-47; Eric Douglas shot execution-style outside bar, police say

Michelle Gallardo Image
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Indiana police ask for public's help solving gruesome 2021 murders
East Chicago, IN police are asking for the public's help solving the 2021 murders of Eric Douglas and Angelica Casares.

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (WLS) -- Police in East Chicago, Indiana are asking for the community to come forward with information about two unsolved murders.

Eric Douglas and Angelica Casares were killed in separate shootings back in 2021.

East Chicago saw its homicide rate go down by 55% last year.

Those homicides they did have saw a clearance rate of 80%.

It's why the police department said they are now revisiting their cold cases, but the two from 2021 are proving especially hard to crack.

It's been 17 months, and yet, the bullet holes are still visible on the bottom floor of an East Chicago home, where a 21-year-old woman was violently murdered.

Police Chief Jose Rivera witnessed the gruesome crime scene.

"What's disturbing on this one is it's a duplex house in a quiet neighborhood, and the rounds that were fired came from an AK-47," Rivera said.

The gun was found lying near Casares' body.

RELATED: Chicago police say homicide clearance rate improved in 2023

But her murder remains unsolved, as does the execution-style killing of Douglas on Christmas Day 2021, just outside Ralo's Bar.

That mystery is made even more puzzling because of the existence of surveillance video from inside the bar showing who police say is Douglas, in a red shirt, exiting along with his shooter, in a striped top.

Moments later, through the window of the bar, the killer is seen drawing a weapon.

ABC7 Chicago froze the video right before the shooter opens fire, and Douglas falls to the ground.

"It wasn't like it was a crowded bar where you didn't see anything. Everyone had contact with both individuals. As well as, once it occurred, everyone looked out the window and saw," Rivera said.

The level of cooperation police received was so bad that even as officers responded, investigators say, those inside the bar locked the door and would not let them in.

Former Council member and activist Debra Bolaños tried unsuccessfully to help residents strip the bar of its liquor license.

"Residents need somebody to be their voice. They're afraid," Bolaños said.

That fear is what's prompted activists with "Case Files Chicago" to partner with the police department to try to encourage witnesses to come forward with what they know.

"Police can't do it alone. Community absolutely has to be part of the process," said Lisette Guillen, with "Case Files Chicago."

Anyone with information that might lead to an arrest can contact either the East Chicago Police Department or "Case File Chicago's" "Lock it Down" anonymous tip line at 1-800-U-TELL-US.

The organization is offering a $1,000 reward.