Man Found Dead in Trunk Remembered as Beloved Owner of ‘Supermercado La Raza’

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2019-06-04 23:19:54

A small memorial has begun for a 63-year-old man who was found Monday in the trunk of a vehicle following what police believe was a home invasion in a southern Chicago suburb.

Loyal customers at ‘Supermercado La Raza,’ in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, found the store closed Tuesday, after the Hispanic supermarket’s owner, Francisco Aranda was found dead in his unincorporated Crete Township residence.

Aranda’s cause of death was found to be inconclusive, pending toxicology and lab reports, according to Will County Coroner’s Office.

The victim was found with no external indications of trauma to his body, police said.

Deadly Crete Home Invasion Appears ‘Targeted,’ Police Say

[CHI] Deadly Crete Home Invasion Appears 'Targeted,' Police Say

At around 10:25 a.m. Monday, deputies were dispatched for a welfare check at a home in the 26000 block of South Klemme Road in unincorporated Crete Township, the Will County sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Upon arrival, deputies were let into the home by a family member and found a 59-year-old woman inside their 2003 Chevy Impala vehicle in the attached garage with her hands tightly bound behind her back.

The woman told deputies that two “masked males” entered her residence the night before “for the purposes of robbing” them and that her husband was in the trunk of the vehicle, officials said.

“In an attempt to escape, Mr. Aranda began kicking at the back seat and was able to loosen one side allowing his wife to crawl through the opening,” the latest police report read.

Police said Aranda was pronounced dead on the scene, though authorities say they believe that Mr. Aranda’s actions most likely saved his wife’s life.

The woman was taken to an area hospital to be treated for severe bruising to her hands, fire officials said, where she was listed in stable condition and was expected to be released Tuesday.

Man Dead, Wife Hospitalized in Crete Home Invasion: Police

[CHI] Man Dead, Wife Hospitalized in Crete Home Invasion: Police

Aranda was known to his customers as “Don Pancho.”

“He was a great guy,” local Jasmine Rodriguez told NBC 5 News.

“He was always good person,” said another resident, Salvador Calderon. “Always made everybody smile.”

Man Found Dead, Wife Hospitalized: Police

Man Found Dead, Wife Hospitalized: Police

Will County Sheriff Deputies spent hours inside the market on Tuesday and now, as a memorial for Aranda grows outside, the neighborhood is struggling to fathom a future without him.

“It’s sad…it’s not gonna be same,” said Elizabeth Valencia, another local.

The incident “appears to be a targeted attack,” Deputy Chief Dan Jungles said, adding that officials did not expect any other area residents “to be at risk for further violence.”

However, police said two suspects are still on the loose and will continue to follow leads “until the offenders of this horrendous crime are caught and prosecuted.”

No one was in custody in connection with the attack, according to the sheriff’s office, and the incident remained under investigation.

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