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$2M bond for Willowbrook man charged with strangling girlfriend

Dean Norris | photo from DuPage County state’s attorney’s office

(WHEATON) A southwest suburban man accused of strangling his girlfriend in their home Thursday afternoon has been ordered held on a $2 million bond.

Dean Norris, 59, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 45-year-old Vanessa Cross, according to a statement from the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

Officers performing a well-being check about 2 p.m. at the couple’s home in the 16W500 block of Honeysuckle Rose in Willowbrook found Cross deceased on the floor of the living room, prosecutors said.

While in the home, officers saw Norris run across a nearby parking lot, prosecutors said. He was stopped, and when investigators attempted to talk to him, he became uncooperative.

It was eventually discovered that earlier in the day, Norris and Cross got into an argument, which turned violent, and at some point during the argument, Norris strangled Cross, prosecutors said.

On Friday, Norris was ordered held on a $2 million bond. He is next scheduled to appear in court Jan. 8.

“Throughout the country, domestic violence continues to claim more and more victims at a staggering rate,” State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the statement. “According to the CDC, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault committed by an intimate partner each year. Additionally, more than 16,000 homicides are committed annually as a result of domestic violence.

“When you stop and think about it, these numbers are just astonishing. People have got to learn that violence is never the answer. If you find yourself in an argument that could potentially turn violent, walk away. Take some time to get your emotions under control before what began as a simple argument or disagreement causes irreparable harm, as is alleged in this case,” Berlin said.