CHICAGO (AP) – 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.
Interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante said police are trying to locate relatives.
There were no signs of forced entry to the residence in the Gage Park neighborhood, the home didn’t appear ransacked, and the victims weren’t bound, Roy said.
Escalante told reporters Thursday that the case appeared to be an isolated incident and that there was no wider threat to the community, but police added extra patrols in the neighborhood as a precaution. Asked whether it could have been a murder-suicide, he said it was “a possibility.”
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said later Thursday that police were “not yet” searching for suspects.
Escalante said police checked the house Thursday afternoon 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.
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.
Escalante said the investigation would take time but emphasized there was no imminent threat.
“At this time we don’t believe that there is any threat to the surrounding community or any known threat right now to the immediate neighborhood,” he 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.