COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Jealousy sparked a vicious Thanksgiving Day murder in which a man stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death outside her Jefferson Park home, nearly decapitating her, prosecutors said Thursday.
Alberto Gaytan, 42, of the 3000 block of West Ainslie Street, was arrested and charged Wednesday night in the murder of Maria Gonzalez, police said. He appeared in court Thursday and was ordered held without bail.
"(Gaytan) had threatened to kill the victim if she left him for someone else," Assistant State's Attorney Maura White said Thursday when the Gaytan appeared briefly in court.
Gonzalez, 39, was leaving her home in the 4800 block of North Moody Avenue to go to work about 4:50 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Gaytan appeared and attacked her, White said.
"(He) threw the victim to the ground, straddled over her and stabbed her approximately 11 times ... including a deep laceration across the neck that was deep enough to almost decapitate the victim," White said.
Prosecutors said Gaytan, an undocumented immigrant, was recently picked up by immigration officials for re-entering the country.
Residents of the block had said Gonzalez worked at a nearby Dunkin' Donuts.
A witness, neighbor Fred Jakubowski, said at the time that he saw Gonzalez lying on the ground, with a man standing over her and holding her purse. The man took off after Jakubowski yelled at him, he said.
Jakubowski said he could see her throat had been slit.
"It’s a horrible thing to happen on a wonderful day," Jakubowski said.
Gonzalez was pronounced dead on the scene at 5:22 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.