A homicide investigation is underway after six people were found dead in a home in Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood.
Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy said Friday the victims were two men, two women and two boys, ages 10 and 13. They were all members of the same family.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office has ruled the deaths of all six family members as homicides. Autopsies done Friday found the older female and middle-aged male were stabbed and beaten, the older male and two young boys were stabbed, and the middle-aged female was shot multiple times, the medical examiner said.
Relatives identified the victims as the Martinez family — Noe Martinez Sr.; his wife, Rosa; their son, Noe Martinez Jr.; their daughter, Maria Martinez; and Maria’s two sons, Leonardo and Alexi. The family moved into their home in the 5700-block of South California Avenue around nine years ago.
Roy said after the couple’s son missed work for two days, a co-worker called police. Officers arrived at the home around 1 p.m. Thursday. Through a window, they saw what appeared to be a body on the floor inside the house.
Below is a partial transcript of what the officer told the dispatcher after arriving on the scene:
OFFICER: “It’s going to be a crime scene. This guy looks like he’s been stabbed multiple times.”
DISPATCHER: “About how many people do you got down?”
OFFICER: “So far we just see one, but the neighbors say that there is…about ahh…6 people living there.”
Police gained entry to the home and found five more bodies in different locations inside the home. Police say the victims were likely killed between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.
“The victims suffered blunt trauma, which leads us to treat this case as a homicide,” Roy 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.”
Roy said teams are still processing the “rather complex scene,” which was confined to the home. He said there was no sign of forced entry and the doors were locked.
Several bodies were removed from the home overnight and transported to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, where autopsies will be performed.
Noe Martinez Jr. had worked for UnitedService Companies as a window washer at O’Hare since 2012. In a statement Friday, the company said it was “deeply saddened” by the news, and said Noe was a “hard worker”, “good employee” and “well-liked by his co-workers.”
Noe Sr. had been out of work for months and was working with the bank to keep his house. A woman who rents a nearby home from the family says he was struggling with money and ashamed.
“He would be embarrassed when he came on the first to pick up his rent and I would be like, ‘No, it’s fine,’ and he’s like, ‘No, it’s just like I need to make the payments,'” the woman, who wanted her identity protected, said.
A classmate of one of the boys spoke outside his friend’s 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.
Now, neighbors wonder if they missed something that could help investigators.
“We feel more sorry that we didn’t hear anything too, you know, maybe we could have helped or something. But we didn’t hear nothing,” said Mayra Diego, victims’ neighbor.
An Aurora man traveled to place six crosses, along with stuffed animals, along their sidewalk.
“The American Dream is just spoiled here,” said Greg Zanis, who made the memorial crosses.
Relatives arriving from Texas on Friday said they plan to talk to detectives.
“The first thing they told me to do was go and talk to them and figure out what was going on,” said Juan Martinez, nephew.
Family members in Texas said they plan to send the remains back to Mexico. They set up a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise money to help cover the cost.