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Police think multiple killers involved in Gage Park massacre

Greg Zanis of Aurora mounts crosses on the front lawn of a Gage Park home, one for each of the six people found dead inside the house on Feb. 4. | Andy Grimm/Sun-Times

Chicago Police investigators believe that multiple killers may have been involved in the gruesome slayings of a family of six in the Gage Park massacre in February.

They think that’s the case because the bodies were found in so many different rooms.

Meanwhile, autopsy reports released Thursday revealed the horrifying details of how the family was slain.

The reports describe a gruesome scene inside the bungalow where police found the bodies of all six family members.

Police officers discovered a “bloody mess” in the bungalow in the 5700 block of South California Avenue, where three generations of the Martinez family had lived quietly for years. The household seemed to have been tranquil in the moments before a violent rampage that left all six dead, according to investigators for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The bodies of four adults and two children, ages 10 and 13, were scattered around an otherwise orderly house. Chicago Police arrived at the scene on the afternoon of Feb. 4, after a friend of Noe Martinez Jr. reported the O’Hare Airport window cleaner hadn’t showed up for work for two days.

Finding the front door locked, two officers went to the back of the house, where they saw Martinez’s mother, Rosaura, 58, in a pool of blood on the enclosed porch.

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She had been stabbed in the abdomen five times, a gaping cut wound stretched across her face, and the arteries in her neck had been slashed, the autopsy report states. Her hands were badly cut, and her left wrist was dislocated. She was wearing pajamas, the report states.

Near the front door, was the body of her husband, Noe Martinez Sr., 62. A cooler filled with tamales sat near the door, alongside a tray of coffee cups. Leonardo Cruz, 13, lay on the living room floor, a textbook, ruler and pencil nearby. Both had been beaten and stabbed.

In the basement, Alexis Cruz, 10, had been stabbed repeatedly, including wounds that pierced his heart three times, as well as a lung and his liver. He was left to die on an area rug, not far from a book bag holding a binder of drawings.

Members of the Martinez family who were slain in their Gage Park home on Feb. 4, 2016. | Photo from family’s gofundme page

PHOTO AT LEFT: Noe Martinez Sr. TOP RIGHT: Leonardo Cruz (left), Noe Martinez Jr., Rosaura Martinez, Alexis Cruz. BOTTOM RIGHT: Leonardo Cruz (left), Maria Herminia Martinez, Alexis Cruz. | Images from family’s gofundme page

Upstairs, Noe Jr.’s body was marked with knife wounds and had been battered about the head until he died. A few feet away, the boys’ mother, Maria Herminia Martinez, was slumped on her knees, her head bowed over an end table, slippers on her feet. Herminia Martinez died of multiple gunshot wounds, police have said, the only member of the family who was shot. Autopsies for Herminia Martinez, Noe Sr. and Leonardo are still pending.

The doors to the home were locked, and the contents largely undisturbed. Investigators have found no significant criminal records for any of the victims, and do not believe any of them were involved in criminal activity. The Mexican government has been helping with the investigation.

Autopsy reports note that a small pocket knife was on the ground near Noe Martinez Sr.’s body, but the report does not say whether it was one of the murder weapons.

Police interviewed Herminia Martinez’s estranged husband, Armando Cruz, who had moved to Mexico several years earlier, though he is not a suspect.