Stepfather charged in Avondale killing
After Jesus Ramirez choked his stepdaughter to death, prosecutors say, he dressed her body in blue jeans and a white tee shirt, lay down next to her in bed and told her: "I love you."
That night and the next he slept with the body of Deena David, 34, whom he had raised since she was a young girl. When the stench inside Ramirez's Avondale apartment became too strong to bear, he stuffed the body in a garbage bag and put it in his closet under a pile of clothes, according to authorities.
Police charged Ramirez with first-degree murder today, hours after he was arrested at O'Hare International Airport with a one-way ticket to Mexico in his possession.
The bizarre attack on David was similar to one Ramirez envisioned more than two years ago. In December 2004, Ramirez was charged with domestic battery in a case involving David. At the time, he threatened to kill her and stuff her body in a garbage bag.
It's unclear whether David was convicted in that case.
The events leading to David's death began when she arrived at Ramirez's home at 3637 W. Belmont Ave. last Wednesday at about 10:45 p.m. The two rarely fought, neighbors say, but by 11:00, David and Ramirez were arguing intensely.
Prosecutors gave the following account of what happened next:
At some point in the argument, Ramirez punched David in the face. She hit her head on a table as she fell to the kitchen floor. Ramirez then stepped on her neck until she passed out.
Ramirez moved his stepdaughter to the bed and climbed in next to her. When she woke up, he strangled her to death.
He slept with the body Wednesday and Thursday nights, "because he wanted to keep the body," a prosecutor said.
The incident came as a shock to neighbors, who were friendly with both David and Ramirez.
The neighbors, concerned about the odor coming from Ramirez's apartment, called the police. When officers responded but declined to enter the apartment, neighbors broke down the door and found David's body.
Prosecutors said Ramirez, 49, gave a videotaped confession during which he described the attack on David. David, according to prosecutors, attempted to fight back and bit Ramirez's right thumb. Ramirez also talked about how easy it was to get David's body into a trash bag, prosecutors said.
At a hearing Tuesday afternoon, a Cook County judge denied bail for Ramirez.
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