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Rockford police work 35 unsolved homicides, county 19

April 11, 2014
homicide chalk line

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

More than 30 homicides committed in Rockford between Feb 9, 2003 and Dec. 31, 2013 are unsolved, according to data recorded by the Rockford Police Department.

According to data, 35 of the 193 homicides committed during the period have not been solved. Numbers also reveal that Rockford has averaged approximately 17 homicides each year since 2003.

Following is a look at the city’s 35 open homicide cases.

Natasha N. Cleary, Marquwon Owens and Katarion Friar; April 17, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011, a structure fire was reported at a residence in the 2700 block of Canterbury Lane, where 30-year-old Natasha Cleary lived with her two sons, Marquwon Owens, 12, and Katarion Friar, 2.

Once the fire was extinguished, the bodies of Natasha, Marquwon and Katarion were located in the rubble. An autopsy determined that all three victims had been shot dead before the fire started. A surveillance photo of an unknown masked man attempting to use Cleary’s ATM card was captured at a local bank machine yet no arrests have been made.

Roy L. Sams Sr., April 30, 2011

Sunday, April 30, 2011, 56-year-old Roy L. Sams was playing cards with friends in his apartment in the 1400 block of West Jefferson Street when there was a knock at the door. When Sams opened the door, he was shot by an unknown suspect and died as a result of his injuries.

Daniel E. Cooney, Aug. 8, 2011

The body of 18-year-old Daniel Cooney was located in a grassy area of Eckberg Pine Manor Park, in the 3700 block of Balsam Lane Aug. 8, 2011. An autopsy revealed that Cooney died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.

Billy J. Russell, Aug. 4, 2010

Billy Russell, 50, was found lying in the street in front of his residence in the 900 block of Island Avenue Friday, June 19, 2009. He had been battered and was unresponsive, police said. Russell died Aug. 4, 2010.

Marvin E. Thompson, Aug. 22, 2010

Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010, Marvin Thompson, 28, was standing in front of his residence on Curtis Street and 15th Avenue when he was approached by an unknown vehicle. Police say a Hispanic male, believed to be a rival gang member, shot Thompson dead from inside the vehicle. No arrests have been made.

Angelo M. Cooper, Oct. 15, 2010

Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010, Angelo Cooper, 27, was walking near Sherman and Oakley avenues when he was shot in an apparent robbery attempt. Cooper died Friday, Oct. 15, 2010 as a result of his injuries.

Antoine D. Williams , Nov. 10, 2010

Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010, Antoine Williams, 24, was seated in his vehicle with a female companion in the 200 block of Regan Avenue when they were approached by three black male suspects, who police say attempted to rob them. Williams was shot dead by one of the suspects during the robbery attempt.

Grace V. Munson, April 3, 2009

No suspects have ever been announced in the murder of 73-year-old Grace Munson. Munson was found strangled to death Friday, April 3, 2009, in her residence in the 1000 block of 22nd Street.

William C. Lafkin, April 8, 2009

William Lafkin, a well-known homeless man, was reported missing Monday, March 23, 2009. Wednesday, April 8, 2009, Lafkin’s body was found floating in the Rock River near the 2800 block of Falund Street. According to Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia, Lafkin died as the result of blunt force trauma to the head.

Bennie A. Griffith Jr., April 28, 2009

Thirty-four-year-old Bennie Griffith Jr. was shot multiple times outside his home in the 2300 block of Jonathan Avenue Tuesday, April 28, 2009. An unknown suspect wearing dark clothing was seen fleeing the area, however, the person has never been located.

Reynaldo Pinedo Oct. 25, 2009

Reynaldo Pinedo, 52, was with his family inside their residence in the 1500 block of 12th Street Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, when police say four black males with guns forced their way into the house and demanded valuables. Piendo was shot dead during the incident.

Marty E. Flint, Nov. 6, 2009

Marty Flint was seated in a vehicle outside a neighborhood market in the 1100 block of Ferguson Street Friday, Nov. 6, 2009, when an occupant of a dark van fired several shots at Flint, killing him. He was 26.

Michael DiMario and George C. Rickets, Dec. 2, 2009

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009, the bodies of Michael DiMario, 46, and George Rickets, 54, were found on the terrace of an apartment complex in the 4500 block of Apple Orchard Lane. Well-known auto mechanics, DiMario and Rickets suffered fatal head wounds inflicted by a heavy, sharp instrument.

LaMarcus A. Banks, Dec. 17, 2009

Th body of LaMarcus A. Banks, 22, was found in the roadway intersection of Concord Avenue and Elm Street Dec. 17, 2009. He died from a single gunshot wound.

Antonio D. Tate, Dec. 22, 2009

Antonio D. Tate, 24, was shot to death Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009, while he was driving in a vehicle with a female companion near the intersection of Bluefield Street and Fairview Avenue. Tate was hit with several shots and died during an attempt to drive to the hospital.

James L. R. Roberson, Jan. 29, 2008

Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008, the body of James Roberson, 25, was discovered inside his apartment in the 1900 block of Auburn Street. Roberson had been shot multiple times. Investigators believe his death was the result of a home invasion and robbery.

Gregory H. Clark, Feb. 6, 2008

Feb. 6, 2008, 60-year-old Gregory Clark was shot in the back while using a snow blower to clear a sidewalk outside his home in the 1700 block of Oak Forest Drive. Witnesses reported seeing a white male suspect fleeing the scene in a blue minivan following the shooting. Clark was a Rockford attorney.

Kathleen M. Means, April 11, 2008

Friday, March 11, 2008, the body of 50-year-old Kathleen Means was found inside her apartment in the 4800 block of Creekview Road. She had been stabbed multiple times. Means suffered from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) that would have made it difficult for her to defend herself against the attack.

Jeremy R. Butera, Aug. 16, 2008

Jeremy Butera, 23, was standing on the porch of his home in the 100 block of 15th Avenue Sunday, Aug. 16, 2008, when an unknown vehicle drove past the property. Police say Butera was hit by a bullet fired from inside the vehicle.

Corey A. Fuller, Aug. 6, 2008

Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008, Corey Fuller was standing in the 900 block of Woodlawn Avenue with friends when the group was approached by an unknown vehicle occupied by several Hispanic males. Police say Fuller was hit when one of the males fired several rounds from inside the vehicle. Fuller was transported to a local hospital, where he died two days later.

Joe Ann Meyer, Oct. 14, 2008

Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008, Joe Ann Meyer, 67, was found inside her residence in the 4100 block of Seventh Street. She had been beaten with an unknown weapon and was suffering from severe head injuries. Meyers was hospitalized and died Oct. 14, 2008.

Dennis P. Aliprandini, Oct. 24, 2008

Dennis Aliprandini, 46, was shot during a home invasion while visiting a friend’s home in the 700 block of Loomis Street Friday, Oct. 24, 2008. Police say two black male suspects entered the residence and threatened the occupants. When Dennis began to struggle with one of the suspects, the second suspect shot him dead.

Chaundra L. Davis, Nov. 22, 2008

Chaundra Davis, 38, was reported missing from her home in the 1200 block of Revell Avenue Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008. Two weeks later, a jogger spotted her body floating in the Rock River near the 100 block of Race Street. Davis left three children, 19, 13 and 9.

Shawn L. Camp, April 29, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007, the body of 33-year-old Shawn Camp was found inside a vehicle after it crashed into a building near the intersection of Broadway and Kishwaukee Street. Investigators believe Shawn had been driving through the Blackhawk Housing Development when he was shot. He then attempted to drive toward Broadway, where he crashed into the building, police say.

Juan C. Sanchez, Nov. 22, 2007

Juan Sanchez was found shot to death in the front yard of his residence in the 2800 block of Stowmarket Avenue Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007. Neighbors told police Sanchez was arguing with an unknown subject before gunshots were heard. A dark colored SUV with a loud muffler was seen fleeing the area. Sanchez was 28.

Eddie Anderson Jr., Dec. 31, 2007

Fifty-four-year-old Eddie Anderson Jr. was found stabbed to death inside his home in the 900 block of West State Street Monday, Dec. 31, 2007. Police say the house had been ransacked; it appeared Anderson was the victim of a robbery.

Mark A. Terry, April, 26, 2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, Mark Terry, 34, was found shot to death inside his vehicle parked in the driveway of a friend’s residence in the 400 block of N. Henrietta Avenue. The vehicle also had been struck by gunfire. Investigators believe the shooting occurred at another location and Mark drove to the friend’s house before collapsing.

 John C. McMurtry, May 19, 2006

Twenty-nine-year-old John McMurtry was found shot to death in his vehicle near the intersection of Central Avenue and Morgan Street Friday May 19, 2006. The vehicle was also struck by several rounds of gunfire. Investigators believe the incident occurred near the intersection.

William W. Sumner, July 15, 2006

William Sumner was hospitalized with head injuries police say he received during a robbery near the intersection of Seventh Street and First Avenue Tuesday, July 13, 2006. Sumner died in the hospital two days later.

Kedric D. Hardy, Nov. 28, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, residents in the 900 block of Clover Avenue reported hearing several subjects arguing followed by gunshots. Kedric Hardy, 29, was later found lying in the street suffering from a gunshot wound. He died a short time later.

Troy E. Keller, May 30, 2005

Troy Keller, 31, was inside his residence in the 600 block of North Greenview Avenue with his wife Monday, May 30, 2005, when they were victims of an apparent home invasion. Keller was shot dead during the incident.

David M. Ballard, June 5, 2005

Friday, June 3, 2005, David Ballard, 24, was shot dead while standing with a group of friends outside a residence in the 600 block of Cunningham Street. Police say shots were fired at the group from inside an unknown vehicle.

Andrew R. Brown, Nov. 6, 2005

Andrew Brown, 23, was a passenger in a vehicle near the intersection of Kishwaukee Street and Brooke Road Sunday, Nov. 6, 2005, when he was hit by shots fired by a group of subjects in another vehicle. He later died.

Celestine O. Shackelford, May 17, 2004

Fisherman found the body of 46-year-old Celestine Shackelford in the Rock River near the 100 block of Loomis Street Monday, May 17, 2004. An autopsy determined she suffered blunt force trauma and multiple stab wounds. Shackelford was last been seen leaving a party in Beloit, Wis., several days earlier.

Gary Young, Feb. 9, 2003

Well-known homeless man, Gary Young, was shot dead while walking in a parking lot near Court and Cedar streets Sunday, Feb. 9, 2003. A motive for the killing has not been determined.

Winnebago County Cold Cases

According to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, the agency has investigated more than 150 homicides in the past 50 years. As of this report, 19 remain unsolved.

William S. Presley, March 24, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013, William S. Presley, 47, was found shot to death in the garage at 1421 LaBelle Ave., in northwest Rockford. Presley lived alone and operated a small business on his property. There was no forced entry. A possible motive for the homicide is not known.

Baby Noah, July 13, 2013

The Baby Noah case began Friday July 13, 2012, when the body of a newborn baby boy was found on a conveyor belt by employees of Total Waste at 13125 N. Second St., Roscoe. Because the center processes garbage from multiple waste companies throughout the region, determining how Baby Noah arrived on the conveyor belt has difficult to determine.

Michael Scully, Dec. 11, 2011

Sixty-one-year-old Michael Scully was found dead in his parked car in the 7800 block of Clikeman Road Dec. 11, 2011. He had been shot to death.

Nov. 2, 2011, Scully was jumped by two men and struck with a tire iron as he arrived home from work A week later, he was shot in the arm outside his Machesney Park home. It is not known if either case is related to Scully’s death.

Constance Hounsell, Dec. 27, 2008

Constance Hounsell, 65, was found stabbed to death in the basement of her Rockton, Ill., home Dec. 27, 2008. There was no sign of forced entry into the rural property at 6441 Alice Lane. Hounsell was the mother of eight and a well-known aide at Shirland Elementary School and clerk at Elder Beerman in Beloit, Wis. She lived alone after he husband, Melvin, died in 2005.

Marcario Amaya, Nov. 20, 2008

Nov. 20, 2008, 52-year-old Marcario Amaya’s body was found wrapped in a plastic bag in the parking lot of Mi Casa Bar at 1103 S. Pierpont Ave. He had been shot to death.

Alexander Delgado, July 27, 2007

Alexander Delgado, 17, was found shot to death on West State Street near Garver Avenue in the early hours of July 22, 2007. Police say he waking home from a friend’s house when he was gunned down. Delgado had been a student at East High School. While no suspects have been announced, a SUV-type vehicle was seen fleeing the area.

Sandra Daniels, Jan. 7, 2007

Sunday Jan. 7, 2007 Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputies were sent to Rawley Road, near Durand, Ill., where the skeletal remains of Sandra M. Daniels, 56, were discovered by a boy searching for aluminum cans.

Daniels, of Elm Grove Village, Wis., was reported missing by her husband June 8, 2000. Because it was determined Daniels left on her own free will, foul play was not initially suspected.

June 29, 2000, Detectives began working the case as a homicide after Daniels’ 1993 gold Dodge Intrepid was found in Bellwood, Ill.

According to court records, Daniels’ husband, George Daniels, filed for divorce three weeks before she disappeared. It is not believed that George Daniels was involved in her death. Friends say Sandra often frequented casinos and may have developed a gambling problem.

Leann Taylor, Dec. 6, 2004

Leanne Taylor, 29, was found dead in a pile of garbage along Bypass 20 near Montague Road Monday Dec. 6, 2004. Police say Taylor was a known prostitute who frequented the southeast side of Rockford.

Lottie W. Flowers, Feb. 23, 2002

Feb. 23, 2002, Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to 730 Newport Ave., for a medical assist call. Upon arrival, deputies found Lottie Flowers, 71, in the living room. She had been stabbed multiple times. Mrs. Flowers later died in the hospital.

Flowers lived in her home with her husband, son and grandson. She was well-known in her church and at Rockford Memorial Hospital, where she delivered newspapers. She volunteered at the hospital the day she was killed.

Daniel E. Myers, April 29, 1998

April 30, 1998, Daniel Myers, 32, was found shot to death in the parking lot of Monticello Liquor Store at 2001 Cunningham St. His truck was later found in the driveway of a home at 411 Stanley St., Rockford. Myers was last seen at Rocky’s Tap in Loves Park April 29, 1998. No arrests have been made.

David Franks, Dec. 5, 1995

Police say David E. Franks, 36, was shot multiple times at an undetermined location and dumped in the 1300 block of Collingswood Drive Dec. 5, 1995. It is believed Franks’ death was drug-related.

Connie R. Heerdt, Jan. 15, 1991

Connie R. Heerdt, of Rockford, was found strangled to death Tuesday Jan. 15, 1991, in the parking lot of Doyle’s Circle K Lounge, 3911 Sandy Hollow Road. Police say Heerdt was a prostitute who worked the south Rockford area.

Tammy L. Tracey, April 15, 1988

Tammy L. Tracey, was on her way to wax her car Mary 27, 1987, when she disappeared. The vehicle was found in the parking lot of Searles Park the next day, but there was no sign of the 21-year-old.

April 15, 1988, Tracey’s skeletal remains were found in the Sugar River Forest Preserve. A medical examination determined she had been shot and stabbed.

Cheryl Jean Griffin, Oct. 25, 1986

Cheryl Jean Griffin was found stabbed to death Saturday Oct. 25, 1986 in the Kishwaukee Gorge Forest Preserve, 4701 Blackhawk Road, Rockford. Police say Griffin was prostitute who occasionally worked in Rockford.

Robert L. Simmons Jr., April 8, 1982

Robert L. Simmons, Jr., 31, was shot near the Preston Street Liquor Store, 3912 Preston Street, April 8, 1982.

Simmons was shot during an argument between his father, Robert Simmons Sr., and another man. During the confrontation, the suspect discharged a firearm, hitting the younger Simmons. He later died as the result of his wounds.

The investigation determined that the confrontation started inside the liquor store.

Clarence Owens and Everette Hawley, Feb., 19, 1976

Everette Hawley, 75, and 65-year-old Clarence Owens were last seen at a farm auction near the Winnebago-Ogle county line Feb. 19, 1976. They have never been found. Over the years, the case has been worked by Stephenson County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department.

Loretta Lyons, June 9, 1966

In an almost 50-year-old case, Loretta Lyons, 46, was found dead in a pool of blood by her husband inside their Latham Road home June 9, 1966. She had been beaten and strangled.

While there was no forced entry, there were signs of a struggle. Nothing was missing from the home. A witness reported seeing a red Ford Galaxy near the scene.

Octavio Martinez and Ann Bergman Aug. 8, 1962

Police say Octavio “Chico” Martinez, 32, and Ann Bergman, 18, won a dance contest at the Town Lounge, 600 W. State St., Aug. 8, 1962. They left at approximately 12:55 a.m., and were walking to their car when they were picked up by an unknown person.

Two hours later, Martinez was found shot to death on Beltline Road near the Rockford Airport. Bergman’s body was found six days later in Ogle County. She had also been shot.

Donald Burton and Joseph Greco May 2, 1959

The bodies of Donald Burton and Joseph Greco, both 21, were found in the trunk of a vehicle parked on the side of the road on Montague, about a quarter mile east of Meridian. Burton and Greco were beaten to death and evidence of gambling paraphernalia was found in the car.

The men were known to frequent illegal gambling operations in the northern Illinois area.

Anyone with information about any of these cold cases is urged to call the Rockford Police Department at (815) 987-5824, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police Detective Bureau at (815) 319-6400 or Crime Stoppers (815) 963-7867.

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