Chicago police are investigating what led to the deaths of two children, two women and two men whose bodies were found with signs of trauma inside a home on the city’s South Side.
Chicago police Chief of Detective Eugene Roy said Friday morning that the victims suffered blunt trauma. The bodies were found Thursday afternoon, when police initially said four men, a woman and a child had been killed. Police are investigating the deaths as a multiple homicide.
The victims’ identities will be released after the Cook County medical examiner has performed autopsies Friday morning, Roy said. He said it appeared the victims were members of the same family.
There were no signs of forced entry to the residence in the Gage Park neighborhood, the doors were locked, the home didn’t appear ransacked and the victims weren’t bound, Roy said.
“There is nothing at this point that leads us to believe this was a random act. There are no signs at this point of a burglary gone bad, or that anyone forced their way into the house,” interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante said Friday.
Police have added extra patrols in the neighborhood as a precaution, but they don’t believe there is a wider threat to the community.
Next-door neighbor Mayra Diego said Friday that the family members were quiet and peaceful people.
“That’s what we’re most sorry about,” Diego said. “Because we could have done something or being so close I feel like maybe we would have noticed something.”
Police checked the house Thursday after receiving a call from a co-worker worried about someone who lived there. That person had missed two days of work, which was “highly unusual and very suspicious,” Escalante said Thursday.
Police arrived at the single-family brick home just after 1 p.m. They looked inside and saw one body, entered and found five more.
Six people lived in the home — a couple, their son, their daughter and the daughter’s two children—a relative said.
“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.
Martinez said the father worked at a factory in Chicago and the mother was a housewife. They were originally from the Mexican state of Guanajuato and had lived in Chicago for about a decade, Martinez said.
“Right now, we just want to know who did this. They didn’t deserve this. We don’t understand what happened,” she said.
In the neighborhood, three teenage boys said they were worried about a classmate at Rachel Carson Elementary School who lived in the home. They feared he was among the dead.
“His favorite sport was soccer,” Aaron Villazana said of his friend, and Emmanuel Hernandez chimed in: “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.
Earlier, Rosa De La Torre’s 13-year-old son comforted her as she sat down and sobbed near the home, worried a friend could be among the victims.
Another neighbor, Lettie Magas, 68, lamented what she said has been an increase in crime in recent years.
“I feel safe as long as it’s daylight out, but I won’t come out at night, no way,” Magas said.