As he died locked in the trunk of their car, Francisco Aranda likely saved his wife's life, authorities say. Aranda, 63, and his wife, 59, are believed to have been bound with zip ties and shoved into their trunk Sunday by robbers who went on to ransack their Crete, Illinois, home. Aranda managed to kick out one of the back seats of the car before he died, allowing his wife to crawl into the backseat, where she passed out. "We believe at this time that the actions of Mr. Aranda most likely saved his wife’s life," a Will County sheriff’s spokesperson says, per the Chicago Tribune.
Authorities found the couple Monday morning after relatives called to report that they were not answering their phones and had not gone to work; by then, authorities estimate the couple had been in the car for 10 hours. An autopsy on Aranda was inconclusive and the coroner says cause of death is pending toxicology and lab results. His wife is in good condition and was expected to be released from the hospital. Authorities are working to find the suspects, who, they say, appear to have targeted the Arandas for some reason. Per CBS Chicago, neighbors say Aranda was a community leader and a beloved business man whose family had owned his store, Supermercado La Raza, for decades. Police say the grocery store had also been burglarized multiple times recently, ABC 7 reports. (Read more Illinois stories.)