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Police: Oak Forest Man Strangled Wife, Set House Ablaze

Martin Rodriguez, 48, faces first-degree murder charges in the death of his wife Erica Rodriguez, 40, who was found strangled inside the family's burning home on the 15200 block of Central Avenue in Oak Forest.

An Oak Forest man faces murder charges, following the discovery of his wife dead inside their home after a Dec. 18 fire.

Martin Rodriguez, 48, is being charged with first-degree murder in the death of wife Erica, 40, Oak Forest police said Saturday. Police discovered the strangled body of Erica Rodriguez after a fire at the home at 152nd and Central Avenue. Martin Rodriguez was found outside the home, with his throat slashed. 

Martin Rodriguez strangled his wife, then set the house on fire, according to police. He is also being charged with aggravated arson. 

“We have conducted a thorough and detailed investigation into this horrendous crime," said Oak Forest Police Chief Greg Anderson. "Although these charges may be of little or no comfort to the family or the community, it does bring some clarity and information to them as to who committed this crime.”

Martin Rodriguez is still being treated for his injuries at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn and is in police custody. Rodriguez will be turned over to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.

The couple was married for 17 years, with three children: 17-year-old Sylvia, 15-year-old Andrew and 6-year-old Gloria. Erica was a devoted nurse and well-liked member of the community. 

There was no prior record of domestic abuse or any type of restraining orders. The criminal investigation has been led by the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and the Oak Forest Police Department.

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Baba Wawa December 30, 2012 at 10:48 PM
The details were disclosed in a bond hearing and are online at the Southtown's site.
Janelle Mitzner December 30, 2012 at 11:00 PM
What a tragedy for those children. My thoughts and prayers are with them. I hope that the spirit of their mother will wrap them with love. I also hope that they feel the love and prayers going out to them from the thousands of us here in the community.
jd December 30, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Thank You Lauren
Lauren Traut December 31, 2012 at 12:41 AM
We have more information now. http://oakforest.patch.com/articles/oak-forest-man-charged-with-wife-s-murder
James Andrew Bailey December 31, 2012 at 03:45 AM
I worked with erica for a few years, and knew her to be an extremely caring, gracious, kind woman. She was an excellent nurse, goinjg above and beyond for her patients. My heart goes out to her three children.

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