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Killer left bloody footprints then hid in his mom’s closet, prosecutors say

After leaving his bloody footprints all over a Southwest Side murder scene where he’d butchered his aunt and cousin, a 20-year-old man was found two blocks away at his mother’s home, hiding in the closet, prosecutors say.

Then Jose Guzman allegedly confessed that he’d killed his relatives “because he wanted to steal their gold.”

Charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, home invasion causing great bodily harm, aggravated arson and one count of armed robbery with a dangerous weapon, Guzman was Sunday denied bail by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Laura Sullivan.

He fatally stabbed his 49-year-old aunt, Maria Herrera, and his cousin Carlos Herrera on Thursday at their home in the 3600 block of West 55th Place, according to Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Jennifer Cooper.

Then he allegedly tried to torch the house.

Maria Herrera’s husband came home Thursday afternoon and saw smoke, Cooper said. He shouted for his wife, but got no response. But when he went into a bedroom, he found his son lying on the ground in a pool of blood, Cooper said. A butcher knife and bludgeon were found next to his body.

After yelling for neighbors to call police and paramedics, he went into the basement of the home and found his wife, also lying in a pool of blood with her legs tied together.

A bloody set of footprints led from where Carlos was found to another bedroom that appeared to have been ransacked, with dresser drawers pulled out and blood on the handles, Cooper said. A jewelry box was also open on top of the bed.

The footprints then led down to the basement, where Maria was found. A couch had been set on fire near her body and there was smoke damage in the basement, Cooper said.

Guzman lives with his parents less than two blocks west in the 3800 block of West 55th Place, authorities said. His mother came home Friday and found him in her closet with scratch marks to his ears neck and chest, Cooper said.

Guzman then admitted to his mother that “he is the one that killed them because he wanted to steal their gold,” Cooper said. He then asked his mother to help him flee to Michigan.

His mother instead called relatives, who in turn called the police. Bloody shoes matching the footprints found at the crime scene were found after police executed a search warrant at Guzman’s house, Cooper said.

According to his attorney, Guzman was diagnosed with depression two years ago.

Guzman is scheduled to appear in court again Monday.