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Police: Oak Forest man to be charged in wife’s death

Firefighters walk past scene suspicious fire 15230 S. Central Avenue Oak Forest Tuesday December 18 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

Firefighters walk past the scene of a suspicious fire at 15230 S. Central Avenue in Oak Forest Tuesday, December 18, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 30, 2012 12:17PM



An Oak Forest man whose wife was strangled before her body was found in their burned-out home Dec. 18 faces first-degree murder and aggravated arson charges in her death, Oak Forest police said Saturday night in a news release.

Martin Rodriguez, 48, who was found with his throat slashed and was hospitalized after the incident, is being charged in the death of his wife Erica Rodriguez, 40, a mother of three whose body was found after a fire at their residence in the 15200 block of Central Avenue.

The Rodriguezes were married for 17 years and have three children. There was no prior record of domestic violence or any type of restraining orders, according to the release.

The criminal complaint alleges that Martin Rodriguez strangled his wife and then set the house on fire. Rodriguez was expected to attend a bond hearing later Saturday night, the release said.

Rodriguez was still being treated for his injuries at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and was in police custody, police said. He was to be turned over to the Cook County sheriff’s office once the appropriate documents were filed, police said.

The South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and the Oak Forest Police Department handled the investigation.

Oak Forest Police Chief Gregory Anderson said in the release that police “have conducted a thorough and detailed investigation into this horrendous crime. 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.”

The children are staying with other family members.

Oak Forest police and Erica’s family and friends have established a fund at Carlinville National Bank, 5459 W. 159th St., Oak Forest, to aid the family. New clothes and toys also are being accepted at the Oak Forest Police Department.



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