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Thursday, June 11, 2009

[IL] Norberto Rodriguez, where are you?

...the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and Oak Forest police are keeping mum about their investigation... [Oak Forest Police Chief David] DeMarco said police do not have any new developments. He does not know where [slain Irma's husband, ex-Chicago Police Officer] Norberto Rodriguez is... Investigators are asking witnesses who might have seen someone driving Rodriguez's car - a white 2002 Pontiac Grand Am with the license plate TITA 6 - or walking away from the vehicle...

Previous post:
[IL] The life of Irma Arroyo Rodriguez has been stolen and our sorrow is one soul heavier - The Cook County medical examiner’s office this morning tentatively identified the body found in the car trunk as Irma Rodriguez... [Police] said they had not been able to talk to her estranged husband, Norberto, a former Chicago police officer who was charged with trying to kill her in 1997... An internal police investigation of the incident concluded, "Officer Rodriguez unlawfully shot his wife, Irma Rodriguez, with his firearm during a domestic dispute"... Tuesday [June 2nd, 2009] was the day Ms. Rodriguez was supposed to be in divorce court. Proceedings began more than a year and a half ago...

MORE RECENT:

POLICE CALL ON WITNESSES TO COME FORWARD IN OAK FOREST WOMAN'S SLAYING

Southtown Star
By Kristen Schorsch
June 4, 2009
[Excerpts] ...The South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force continues to investigate Rodriguez's death. Wednesday, acting Oak Forest Police Chief David DeMarco called on any witnesses who might have seen someone driving Rodriguez's car - a white 2002 Pontiac Grand Am with the license plate TITA 6 - or anyone walking away from the vehicle to contact police. "That's where they're really focusing all their attention on," DeMarco said, adding that police have no suspects. He did not know if the task force has talked to Rodriguez's estranged husband, Norberto Rodriguez... Without a report of neglect or abuse to a child, a state Department of Children and Family Services spokesman said law prevented him from saying anything about Rodriguez's two minor children, including whether they remain at their home. Besides the eighth-grade boy, Rodriguez also has a daughter who will be a senior at Oak Forest High School this fall and an older son in his 20s. Funeral arrangements are pending... [Full article here]

A NICE LADY FOUND DEAD IN A CAR TRUNK
Southtown Star
Phil Kadner
June 5, 2009
[Excerpts] ...Norberto Rodriguez, a former Chicago police officer, was arrested in 2002 and convicted in 2004 of conspiring to distribute four kilograms of heroin. A rented car Rodriguez was driving from California was stopped by Illinois State Police in LaSalle County and, according to a Drug Enforcement Agency agent, Rodriguez agreed to let the trooper inspect the trunk. A black briefcase was found with four packages that turned out to be heroin. Rodriguez cooperated with police and helped lead them to two other men involved in the drug deal, at one point wearing a hidden wire, authorities said. Rodriguez went to prison in May 2004 and was released in January 2007, according to federal prison records. Although Irma had been shot in the hand and threatened by her husband before his drug arrest, she still bailed him out of jail on the heroin charges... [Full article here]

SLAIN OAK FOREST MOTHER HAD TROUBLED PAST WITH ESTRANGED HUSBAND
Southtown Star
By Lauren Fitzpatrick
June 5, 2009
[Excerpts] Police won't name any suspects in the brutal murder of an Oak Forest mother found stuffed in the trunk of her own car. The SouthtownStar has unearthed troubling details about the husband she was divorcing, a man her neighbors and relatives have not seen in days, a convicted drug dealer who once shot her and threatened to do so again. "He threaten to ... if I come back he'll shoot me again," Irma Rodriguez wrote on a 2001 petition for an emergency protection order. "I'm very fearful for my life and my children." Oak Forest acting police chief David DeMarco told the SouthtownStar officers had before been called to the Rodriguez home in the 15400 block of Alameda Drive, but would not say how many or what kinds of calls they responded to. Norberto Rodriguez, 49, has not been named as a suspect in his estranged wife's disappearance and death. In fact, Norberto Rodriguez has not been seen around the neighborhood in Oak Forest, his last known address, nor could he be reached at several phone numbers listed to his name. No one has been charged, and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and Oak Forest police are keeping mum about their investigation, except to say they distributed fliers Thursday to dozens of homes around 148th Street and Kilpatrick Avenue. DeMarco said police do not have any new developments. He does not know where Norberto Rodriguez is, emphasizing that police continue to gather as much evidence as they can. Investigators are asking witnesses who might have seen someone driving Rodriguez's car - a white 2002 Pontiac Grand Am with the license plate TITA 6 - or walking away from the vehicle, specifically toward St. Damian Church near 155th Street and Long Avenue in Oak Forest, to call police. In five years, Norberto Rodriguez went from Chicago police officer to convicted heroin dealer. During an argument about flowers an ex-girlfriend sent him for his birthday in 1997, he shot his wife through the hand. Police said at the time that Norberto Rodriguez threatened to kill himself and his wife during the confrontation. Though Rodriguez was acquitted of all charges, including attempted first-degree murder, the incident cost him his job... [Full article here]

HERE'S AN ARTICLE BLAMING IRMA, NOT EVEN CONSIDERING THE POSSIBLITY THAT IF IRMA HAD LEFT EARLIER SHE MAY HAVE ALSO DIED EARLIER:

Slain mother's fate could teach victims a lesson

In 2001, she wrote: 'If I come back he'll shoot me again'
Chicago Sun-Times
By Mary Mitchell
June 7, 2009
[Excerpts] Under the circumstances, it wouldn't be a rush to judgment to suspect that Irma Rodriguez was a victim of domestic violence. On Monday, the 45-year-old mother of three was found dead in the trunk of her car, which was parked on a street in Midlothian. She and her husband of 13 years, Norberto Rodriguez, were going through a divorce. The couple were due in court the day before Irma was killed. Now, Norberto Rodriguez has dropped out of sight... That's strange behavior for a man whose son graduated from elementary school last week... I'm confident the police will catch up to him. I'm less confident that abused women who can still save themselves will learn from this tragedy. Irma Rodriguez's best chance to save herself came in 1997, when her husband was arrested and charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, armed violence and aggravated battery... Seems to me that Irma Rodriguez should have packed up the kids and got away from this man long before the case went to trial. But domestic violence counselors will tell you that it doesn't do any good to tell a woman to leave an abuser. She has to figure that out for herself... A woman who claims to have known the murder victim contacted me on Facebook with this lament: "I worked with Irma at Palos Hospital for many years and she was the definition of sweet," the woman said... "She never gossiped. Never called off. She now leaves three children motherless and all of us who knew her are in shock and are filled with pain"... Although a judge granted the order of protection, Irma Rodriguez had it terminated three weeks later. When her husband went to prison, she drove the children to prison to see him... If it turns out Norberto Rodriguez had anything to do with the death of his wife, it is incredibly tragic. As is the case with other domestic violence tragedies, the children will be left orphans. These children will need years of counseling to overcome the burden their parents' relationship has put on them. To the women who are too caught up in their own violent relationship to see they are in danger, consider Irma Rodriguez. Had she taken her stand years ago, it might have saved her life. [Full article here]
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