Questions continue to haunt a Southwest Side community after six people were found dead Thursday inside a Gage Park family home.
Loved ones paid their respects Friday night during a vigil held at Kelly High School. Teammates of a 13-year-old victim, who family has identified as Leo Martinez, clutched his soccer jersey during a moment of silence before practice.
“He cared about other people,” Emmanuel Hernandez, Leo’s best friend, said. “He cared about his family. He cared about the decisions he made.”
In all, four adults and two children were found dead Thursday afternoon inside a home in the 5700 block of South California. A concerned co-worker called police after one of the men found in the home had not showed up to work for two days.
Police Call Gage Park Slaying ‘Complex’
Family members identified the deceased as Rosa Hernandez, Noe Martinez, Noe Martinez Jr., Herminia Martinez and her two children, Alexis and Leonardo. Crosses bearing each name were placed outside the home as a memorial Friday.
The medical examiner’s office has not officially released the identities of the bodies, but autopsy results showed the cause of death for the victims, all of which have been ruled a homicide.
According to the autopsy report, the victims died of multiple sharp and blunt force injuries due to assault, except for a middle-aged female, who died of multiple gunshot wounds.
“They were a normal family. Everything was fine,” Noemi Martinez, 29, said from Dallas during a phone interview in Spanish. She said her husband was a nephew and cousin of the home’s residents.
Family members said the people who lived in the home were a couple, their son, their daughter, and their daughter’s two children.
Investigators Friday would not say whether the crime was targeted, but did say the community was not facing an active threat. A motive remains unclear.
“I would understand that people would have a heightened sense of concern but really there is nothing at this point that leads us to believe that this was a random act that this was somebody that broke into the house,” Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante said.
As of Friday night, more than $17,000 was raised for funeral expenses through a GoFundMe page, well exceeding the initial $11,000 goal.
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