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Willowbrook man pleads guilty to strangling girlfriend

Dean Norris | DuPage County state's attorney's office

A southwest suburban man pleaded guilty Wednesday to strangling his girlfriend two years ago inside their Willowbrook home.

Dean Norris, 61, faces between 20 and 60 years in prison for the Dec. 17, 2014, slaying of 45-year-old Vanessa Cross, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

Officers were called for a a well-being check about 2 p.m. at the couple’s home in the 16W500 block of Honeysuckle Rose in Willowbrook, and they 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, and he was uncooperative when they asked him questions, prosecutors said.

They later determined Norris and Cross had gotten into an argument earlier in the day that ended with him strangling her, prosecutors said.

Norris had been jailed since then on a $2 million bond for first-degree murder charges. A pre-sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 23.