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Man Gets 25 Years For Strangling Girlfriend In 2012

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Angel Santiago (Credit: Chicago Police)

Angel Santiago (Credit: Chicago Police)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A man who admitted to strangling his girlfriend in his Pilsen apartment in 2012, then tried unsuccessfully to kill himself, was sentenced to 25 years in prison Tuesday.

Angel Santiago was working as a truck driver for Krispy Kreme in January 2012 when he got jealous after learning from text messages on her phone that Antonia Berrios, 33, had a new boyfriend, the Sun-Times reported at the time.

After killing her — and failing to kill himself — on Jan. 24, 2012, Santiago took off for Florida, where FBI agents tracked him down and arrested him in June 2013, prosecutors said at his bond hearing.

Berrios’ family got worried when they didn’t hear from her for a few days and went to Santiago’s apartment where they found her body, prosecutors said.

Santiago pleaded guilty on April 30 to one count of murder; four other murder charges, along with charges of identity theft and robbery, were dropped, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.

Judge James Linn handed down the 25-year sentence at a hearing Tuesday, court records show. Santiago, 40, will receive credit for 342 days spent in jail since his arrest.

When the police got to the apartment in the 2000 block of South May Street, they found a bizarre scene, prosecutors said, including sticky notes Santiago apparently wrote, one of which, referring to Berrios’ new boyfriend, said: “Because of Michael, this happened.”

Two other notes said: “See you on the other side, Goodbye,” and “Give all my belongings to my kids,” prosecutors said.

In the bathroom sink, investigators found vomit mixed with pills. The bathtub was one-quarter full, and a noose — fashioned from a heavy-duty extension cord — was hanging from the rear porch.

Investigators later found that Berrios’ Chase debit card had been used after she was presumed dead and her car was missing, Dillman said.

Berrios’ car was found a block from the Greyhound station in the 600 block of West Harrison Street. FBI agents and police in south Florida arrested Santiago about 18 months later in Florida City.

He admitted strangling Berrios and trying to kill himself after seeing text messages about the new boyfriend, prosecutors said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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