Mom stabbed to death as children sleep

Tribune staff reports
Published September 22, 2006, 7:47 PM CDT

A 27-year-old woman was stabbed to death in her Northwest Side apartment bedroom early Friday as her three children slept, police said.

Luz Villegas was found stabbed multiple times about 4:30 a.m. in her apartment on the 2900 block of North Lamon Avenue in the city's Belmont Cragin neighborhood, authorities said.

Police were questioning a relative of Villegas' but were not calling the person a suspect, and no charges had been filed as of Friday evening, said JoAnn Taylor, a Chicago police spokeswoman.

The victim's father, who lives in the basement of the two-story building, noticed blood under his daughter's door when he went to check on her, but he could not open the door, said Capt. Marc Buslik. The father then called authorities.

Villegas' body was discovered when Fire Department personnel arrived and forced the door open, Buslik said.

Villegas' children—Juan, 10, Karla, 6, and Karina, 2—were sleeping in another bedroom and were not hurt, police said.

Family members said Villegas moved to Chicago from Mexico with her family as a teenager and worked full-time providing child care for a North Chicago family.

"It's hard to believe this happened to us," said Marisela Armenta, Villegas' sister-in-law. "It's a great loss. She was a very happy person—always cheerful, an excellent mother." ... wsroom-hed