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Pair Denied Bond For Murders Of Mom, Daughter Found In Burning Car

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Robert Danno (left) and Jose Fernardo Martinez-Hernandez (right) are accused of strangling Danno's wife and her mother in Chicago, then stuffing their bodies in a car trunk, and setting the car on fire near a forest preserve in Palos Park. (Credit: Cook County Sheriff)

Robert Danno (left) and Jose Fernardo Martinez-Hernandez (right) are accused of strangling Danno’s wife and her mother in Chicago, then stuffing their bodies in a car trunk, and setting the car on fire near a forest preserve in Palos Park. (Credit: Cook County Sheriff)

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PALOS PARK, Ill. (CBS) – After years of arguing with his wife, and moving into their basement, a Chicago man allegedly enlisted a friend to help strangle his wife and mother-in-law at the home they all shared.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Robert Danno, 50, and Jose Fernardo Martinez-Hernandez, 24, have been charged with two counts each of first-degree murder.

They’re accused of strangling Danno’s wife, 51-year-old Mary Ann Urban-Danno, and her mother, 79-year-old Theresa Urban, at the couple’s in the 5600 block of South Neenah Avenue. Danno and Martinez-Hernandez were denied bond at a hearing Tuesday afternoon.


Cook County Sheriff’s Det. Eric Burnson, the lead investigator on the case, said Danno and his wife had been fighting for a couple years, and Danno had moved into the basement, then later took in Martinez-Hernandez, off the street.

“Jose was homeless, and Robert just took him in, and gave him a roof to sleep under,” Burnson said.

According to Burnson, on Saturday, Urban-Danno came down into the basement, where Martinez-Hernandez grabbed her, and held her down, while Danno strangled her. Danno then went upstairs, and allegedly strangled his mother-in-law.

“She was elderly, and sick, and suffered from dementia,” he said.

Danno and Martinez-Hernandez then stuffed the women’s bodies in the trunk of Urban-Danno’s Chrysler PT Cruiser, and drove them to the side of a road near a nature preserve in Palos Park, where they set the car on fire, according to Burnson.

The license plate led police to Danno’s home, and confessions from both men came quickly afterward.

“Fortunately, we were lucky enough to have an intact license plate on the vehicle, which led us right back to that residence,” Burnson said.

Martinez-Hernandez cried in court as a prosecutor’s words were translated at a bond hearing on Tuesday.

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