The Cook County medical examiner’s office determined Friday that all six people found dead inside a Gage Park home died in homicides, five of them from “sharp force” or “blunt force” injuries and the sixth from gunshot wounds.

The six people found dead Thursday inside a Gage Park home were identified earlier as a couple in their 60s, their son, their daughter and her two sons, 10 and 13, according to Chicago police and relatives. The Cook County medical examiner’s office has not released their identities officially, saying in a release that “In all homicides, official identification must be done visually by next-of-kin or by scientific means, for example using fingerprint matches.”

The family members were found dead a little after 1 p.m. Thursday when police were called to a home in the 5700 block of South California Avenue because one of those who lived there had not shown up for work.

The older man who was among the dead and the two children died from multiple sharp-force injuries, according to the medical examiner’s office. The older woman died from multiple sharp- and blunt-force injuries, while the middle-aged man died  from multiple blunt- and multiple sharp-force injuries, according to the office. The middle-aged woman died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Police had said Thursday they could not rule out the possibility that one of those found dead may have committed suicide, but the medical examiner’s office ruled all of the deaths were homicides.

Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy had said at a news conference Friday morning that it appeared at first that all of the victims suffered “blunt trauma,” and that there was no sign of gunfire in the home.

Roy said the doors were locked, there was no sign of forced entry and the home was not ransacked.

He said the six were killed between late Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Asked about a motive, Roy said it was too early in the investigation to say. He would also not comment on whether police had any suspects in mind.

Grisly discovery in tidy brick home on quiet Gage Park street

Grisly discovery in tidy brick home on quiet Gage Park street

A co-worker’s concerns about a man who failed to show up at work led to a grisly discovery Thursday afternoon on Chicago’s Southwest Side — six bodies found inside a tidy brick home on a quiet street in the Gage Park neighborhood.

Chicago police officers who arrived at the home at 1 p.m. for a…

A co-worker’s concerns about a man who failed to show up at work led to a grisly discovery Thursday afternoon on Chicago’s Southwest Side — six bodies found inside a tidy brick home on a quiet street in the Gage Park neighborhood.

Chicago police officers who arrived at the home at 1 p.m. for a…

(Lolly Bowean, Tony Briscoe and Peter Nickeas)

“This is a complex investigation,” he said. “We’re working meticulously, which means we take our time. … We take our time, but with a sense of urgency, making sure we didn’t miss anything.”

The family has identified the victims as Rosaura Hernandez and Noe Martinez, in their 60s; their son Noe Martinez Jr., in his 40s; Maria Herminia Martinez, in her 30s; and her two sons, Alexis and Leonardo.

Their bodies were found around 1 p.m. after police were asked by a co-worker of one of the residents to check on him because he had not shown up the last few days. Police were told it was “out of character” for him.

One of the responding officers radioed in: “Roll ambulance this way. We got people passed out. Don’t know if they’re dead or what. We’ll make a forced entry too.”

“About how many people you got down?” a dispatcher asks.

“So far we see just one down, but the neighbors say that there’s six people living there,” the officer says, then adds, “Send a sarge over here, it’s a bloody mess.”


Escalante: 6 dead bodies inside residence, signs of trauma

Caption Escalante: 6 dead bodies inside residence, signs of trauma

“We want to be very careful and very thorough,” said interim police Superintendent John Escalante during a news conference near the crime scene Feb. 4, 2016. (WGN-TV)

“We want to be very careful and very thorough,” said interim police Superintendent John Escalante during a news conference near the crime scene Feb. 4, 2016. (WGN-TV)

The officer said a resident near the back door appeared to have been “stabbed multiple times.” He had not yet checked the other bodies.

The family of the victims has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover funeral expenses.

“This has shocked and left their family, relatives and loved ones speechless and heartbroken as the household was nothing but a loving and gentle family that was always quiet,” the family says on the website. “In the time of need the family asks for help in both prayers and donations to help send the bodies back to Mexico, where they would’ve wished to be buried.

“The donations given will help send the bodies to Mexico and help with the funerals and burying ceremonies of all six members,” it adds. “God bless everyone, every little bit helps and is appreciated greatly.”

The victims were not removed from the home until about 10 hours after they were discovered as forensics investigators worked the crime scene.

Erik Serrano, 23, stood alone in front of the home around midnight as white trucks pulled up in the alley and workers carried out the victims.  His girlfriend lives across the street.

“It’s just sad,” Serrano said. “How can someone kill a child? They’re heartless. … They need God. They need church.”

It was the silence that Serrano most noticed. “It’s so quiet. It’s weird. You always hear cars here because California is a major road.”

After midnight, Serrano walked away. By 4 a.m., police opened up California Avenue to traffic, leaving a section of red tape wrapped in front of the house.

Hugo Lopez, who lives next door to the victims, also called the slayings “heartless” and said he was shocked this happened in his quiet neighborhood.

“It’s really sad,” he said.

Lopez remembered the family as “Hardworking and united.”

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