"He was distraught, and I thought it was grief," a victims' advocate recalls of the man she comforted following the grisly murders of six family members—four adults and two children—in Chicago in February. That man is now charged in the case. Police say 22-year-old Diego Uribe Cruz attempted to rob his relatives and shot Maria Martinez, 32—described as either his cousin or aunt—during an argument, per NBC Chicago. He then "systematically" stabbed all other family members in the house as many as 45 times each, police say. The victims, some of whom were also beaten, included Martinez's parents, brother, and two children, aged 10 and 13. Uribe's 19-year-old girlfriend, Jafeth Ramos, was at the scene and an accomplice, though she didn't shoot or stab the victims, police say.
A neighbor tells the Chicago Sun-Times that Uribe was a frequent visitor and "played with those kids all the time. That family loved him." Authorities at first considered the crime to be a murder-suicide since all the doors to the home were locked. However, Uribe's blood was found inside the house and cellphone records placed him at the scene, police say. Three types of knives used in the killings also couldn't be found at the scene, and a rifle at the home didn't match the weapon used to kill Maria Martinez. Police say Uribe and Ramos—who allegedly stole a few hundred dollars, an Xbox, and other items, per Fox 32—have admitted their involvement in what one officer calls the worst case he's seen in his 28-year career; both are charged with six counts of first-degree murder. (Read more Chicago stories.)