CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–November 24, 2010. Murder charges have been filed against the estranged husband of a south suburban woman who was shot multiple times and found dead in the trunk of her car in 2009, just days before the victim was to have finalized divorce proceedings against the defendant, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Oak Forest police officials announced today.
Norberto Rodriguez, 51, a former Chicago police officer, was charged with First Degree Murder and Concealment of a Homicidal Death in connection with the murder of Irma Rodriguez, a 45-year-old mother of three who lived in Oak Forest. Irma Rodriguez disappeared from her Oak Forest home on May 31, 2009 and her body was discovered the next day with multiple gunshot wounds in the trunk of her car on a residential street in nearby Midlothian.
The charges are the result of a joint investigation by the Oak Forest Police Department and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, working in cooperation with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
“This is an extremely tragic case involving the senseless murder of a victim of domestic violence who was struggling to break away from a relationship with a violent man who had attacked her in the past,” said Alvarez. “For all of its tragedy, the charges in this case would not have come about without the dedication of Oak Forest police and all of the investigators who never gave up in seeking justice for Irma Rodriguez.”
Oak Forest Police Chief Gregory Anderson said his department and the community as a whole was significantly affected by the death of Irma Rodriguez and has been deeply committed to the ongoing investigation.
“The Oak Forest Police Department and law enforcement as a whole is motivated to protect victims and prosecute offenders of domestic violence whenever possible. As in this case, it is up to us to speak for victims that are unable to speak for themselves,” Anderson said.
According to prosecutors, Irma Rodriguez disappeared from the Oak Forest residence that she shared with Norberto Rodriguez, Norberto’s mother who suffered from dementia, and two of her children in the evening hours of May 31, 2009. Her body was discovered in the trunk of her own car the next day, with multiple gunshot wounds.
According to prosecutors, there were no signs of forced entry or property missing from the Rodriguez residence when Irma went missing. In addition, neighbors had reported hearing “popping sounds” coming from the direction of the home between 6 pm and 8 pm on the date of the disappearance of Irma Rodriguez. In addition, neighbors also reported and police reports confirm that the couple had argued repeatedly and that there had been numerous calls to police by Irma Rodriguez for domestic violence complaints against the defendant.
In addition, according to prosecutors, telephone records place Irma Rodriguez at her home and Norberto Rodriguez in the vicinity of the home within the time frame that it is believed she was shot and killed in her garage, where fired bullet fragments and other forensic evidence was recovered.
Prosecutors also alleged in court that bank records show that Irma Rodriguez had withdrawn the majority of the funds in the family bank account and that Norberto Rodriguez had learned of this withdrawal shortly before her murder.
According to prosecutors, in 1997, Norberto Rodriguez was charged with attempted first degree murder charges after an argument with Irma Rodriguez in which she sustained a gunshot wound to the hand. Rodriguez was acquitted of the charges but was terminated from the Chicago Police Department in 1999 as a result of an internal investigation into the matter. Rodriguez also had a previous conviction in 2007 on federal drug charges.