Chicago police have confirmed that a family of six were found dead in their home in what they believe is a “targeted incident.”
According to ABC 7 Eyewitness News, the police found the bodies of two men, two women and two boys during a welfare-check on Thursday. The welfare-check was initiated after one of the men’s co-workers contacted the police to report that he hadn’t show up for work for the past two days.
Although it was originally thought that one person could have killed the other five before killing themselves, the Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled the deaths of all six family members as homicides. The victims were identified as Noe Martinez, Sr., 62, Rosaura Martinez, 58, Noe Martinez, Jr., 38, Maria Herminia Martinez, 32, Leonardo Cruz, 13, and Alexis Cruz, 10. Rosaura and Noe, Jr. were stabbed and beaten, Noe, Sr., Leonardo, and Alexis were stabbed, and Maria died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Although the police do not believe this was a random act, they are still trying to determine the possible motive behind the murders, and believe that one of the family members could have been “involved in something that could have targeted them,” according to the Associated Press.
Family of 6 found dead in Gage Park home was ‘targeted’, CPD says https://t.co/D3YbQ7yo6W
— STL LeatherNeck (@USMC_Proud) February 6, 2016
When the police first gained entry to the home, they only found one victim. However, a neighbor told them there were six people living in the home, so they continued their search. They then found the other five victims located throughout the house, and believe they were killed sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.
“The victims suffered blunt trauma, which leads us to treat this case as a homicide,” a Chicago Police spokesperson 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.”
“This appears certainly centered and targeted on that family, and what we’re trying to do is figure out why,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Friday, February 5.
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) February 6, 2016
The family, according to their neighbors, were quiet and peaceful people, who moved into the home nearly nine years ago.
“That’s what we’re most sorry about,” neighbor Mayra Diego said. “Because we could have done something, or being so close I feel like maybe we would have noticed something.”
“No screaming, no yelling. Nothing at all and we’ve been here nine years,” Monica Arias, another neighbor added. “They were a calm, quiet family.”
Noe Martinez, Jr. had been working for UnitedService Companies as a window washer since 2012. The company issued a statement on Friday, saying they were “deeply saddened” by the tragedy, and added that 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,” Fani Maldonado, Noe’s co-worker said.
Mourners gather at Gage Park home where family of 6 found dead. CPD offers reward for info pic.twitter.com/nYaNWe8JhT
— Andy Grimm (@agrimm34) February 6, 2016
“He was always talking about his family, his father, his mother, his sister. He always… what else can I say, man?” Jorge Robles, another one of Noe’s co-workers added.
Friends of the young boys spoke to reporters outside of the 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 said. “His favorite sport was soccer,” Aaron Villazana added before Emmanuel Hernandez continued saying: “He’d get out of school and play soccer…. He liked sharing.”
“I just saw him three days ago. He was walking by. He told me, ‘How are your basketball games going?’” said Jesus Anderade.
The family members who flew up from Texas are now working with the investigators to find out why their relatives were murdered. Azucena Martinez, the niece of the family, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to send the victim’s bodies back to Mexico. As of Saturday, February 6, they had surpassed their $11,000 goal, with nearly $24,000 in donations.
[Photo via Shutterstock]