Man Charged In Death Of Woman Found Burning In Garage

Updated 11/5/11 at 4:00 p.m.

CHICAGO (WBBM) – A Criminal Court judge has denied bail to a Mexican immigrant accused of murdering his downstairs neighbor, and then setting the body afire in the garage behind the Andersonville apartment building in which they lived.

Prosecutor Melissa Kennedy did not indicate to Judge James Brown whether suspect Pedro Cruz engaged in an argument leading up to the murder of 55-year-old Maria Santiago early Thursday in Cruz’s third floor apartment at 5039 N. Clark St.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Reports

Kennedy said that first, Cruz beat Santiago about the face, head and body, then strangled her. Kennedy said Cruz dragged the body from his apartment, past the apartment in which Santiago’s family lived, to the garage behind the building. There, he allegedly set the body afire using charcoal briquettes.

Kennedy said Cruz then returned to his apartment and went to sleep. Someone called 911 after spotting smoke coming from the garage. Hours later, police arrested Cruz.

An autopsy conducted Friday by the Cook County Medical Examiner determined that she died of strangulation and multiple blunt trauma from an assault.

More from Bob Roberts
  • Jose Rodriguez Matinez Gonzalez Doritos

    Well here we go. Another violent crime commited by a low life bean eating Mexican! What the hell is this sh!t Mexican’s immigration status? When will the federal government move forward with the mass deportations? How many stories like this have to happen? This sh!t ball bean eater is a perfect example of why we need deportations to begin NOW!!!!!!

  • Brian Donegan

    Deport this filth

  • PulSe

    Enforce the law. Deport.

  • Antony

    You’re both ignorant. Immigration status has nothing to do with how you treat another human being. If it did you both would be up for deportation for being racist, ignorant bigots.

    • readthefacts


      a person who migrates to another country, usually for permanent residence.

      This has nothing to do with structured governments. Your an immigrant just like your ancestors were.

      Like he said,

      We are all immigrants.

      • Jim Hamilton

        @ readthefacts I didn’t migrate from any other country I was born here so no were not all imigrants

    • Nothing Racist About It

      Mr. Antony, that’s a terrible thing to say. Racist, ignorant bigots? That’s pretty harsh, considering what illegal immigration has done to this fine country. It’s not an accident that Mexico is such a cesspool, it’s full of Mexicans!!! It’s only a matter of time before the illegals drag this country down to Mexico’s status.

      • Frank

        Sorry, Antony. There was no structured government here when people first immigrated here. This land was up for grabs for whoever was strong and smart enough to create a country where nothing but wilderness existed. If you are referring to American Indians, they didn’t have any stucture and were warring amongst themselves. They were uncivilized and didn’t even know what a structured government was.

      • Antony

        You don’t even know that this guy was an illegal immigrant. You’re just using this as an excuse to spout your blind racist judgments.

        We ‘re also ALL illegal immigrants to this country. It didn’t belong to us but we came here and took it anyway. Convenient how we forget that fact though.

      • Roberta Waker

        Excuse me, Antony, but our ancestors came here LEGALLY via Ellis Island. They also learned English, got jobs, paid taxes, and supported their families. They were NOT freeloaders who came here illegally and demanded free medical, education, housing, food, etc. ILLEGALS coming here now are bankrupting our country, bringing in diseases, gangs, drugs, etc. We will welcome anyone that comes here LEGALLY, but anyone coming here ILLEGALLY is a criminal and should be deported. As far as Pedro Cruz is concerned, let ICE and the law take care of him. If he’s a legal citizen, try and jail him; if he’s not legal, deport him. PERIOD.

  • PulSe

    Cruz was a Mexican national – it’s in the police report.

    Enforce the Law ! Deport.

  • malcom

    Its nice that so many white people actually want MORE illegals and people from third world countries coming here. so very nice of them to think you can actually have these people who have did nothing more than steal or tend farm animals all their lives to come here and actually contribute. gotta love the white liberals.

    • Roberta Waker

      malcom. Many of our first immigrants were farmers who grew their own food and hunted to survive when this country was being colonized. As long as we continue to eat beef, pork, and chicken, we will need someone to “tend” to the animals. You make it sound like a bad thing, but I DO get your point about people that don’t contribute something of value to our society/country. It has nothing to do with white liberals; it has to do with the law which our elected officials refuse to enforce. Anyone in this country ILLEGALLY should be deported – as long as we tolerate them and their demands, this country will go down the tube.

  • dan

    So what was this idiot thinking by putting charcoal on top of her body and covering it with a rug? Did he think the body was going to disappear? Did he not realize that smoke would draw attention?

    There seems to be a common element among the scores of low life black, latino and white trash thugs making the news……

    Stupidity and a lack of intelligence-they are just plain dumb

  • Jim Hamilton

    STREAMWOOD, Ill. (CBS) — A 19-year-old northwest suburban woman gave birth to a full-term baby boy in a Salvation Army store bathroom last week, then wrapped a plastic bag around his neck, put him in a garbage bag and covered his body with paper towels.

    The boy was born alive, weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and it took 3-1/2 to 6 minutes for the infant to die by strangulation, authorities said.

    Jessica Cruz, of the 2000 block of Osage Lane in Hanover Park, was charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicidal death

    Just curious if these two are related

  • Steve

    Although deportation is my usual thought; I don’t believe it shoud be employed here. Why, because our boarders are unsecure which will allow this low lfe the ability to come back. He’s a murderer, take him out back put a bullet in his head THEN deport him and send a bill to Mexico for the bullet!

  • mike

    I love that we are called racist just because we are tired of low life, mexicans ruining our neighborhoods and citys. I hate everyone equally that is a piece of trash,be them: white, black, mexican you name it, but ILLEGALS are a no brainer, our corrupt politicians can stop this type of crime from happening but they do not, why? IDK I didnt think illegals could vote but maybe a promise of amnesty would do the trick. I hate ILLEGALS I wish they all would die or get deported for good. GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY.I am mostly a Democrate but that should not matter as both parties suck and are ruining our country, for their own benefit .

  • Pedrina

    Send him to live with Obama. After all, he is only a hard working ILLEGAL here after a job.

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