CHICAGO — An Albany Park man was charged with first-degree murder and held without bail for a fire that killed his wife and injured a 6-year-old girl last week.
In court Sunday, an assistant state's attorney said Gregorio Carmona, 35, believed that his wife, Claudia Martinez, was cheating on him.
Authorities accused Carmona of using an accelerant to start a fire about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday in the 4800 block of North Kenneth Avenue, where police said he lived with the victims.
Martinez, 36, suffered fatal burns to her body and was taken to Loyola University Medical Center, where she succumbed to thermal injuries caused by the apartment fire Thursday morning, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. An autopsy on Friday ruled her death a homicide, according to the medical examiner's office.
The 6-year-old girl, who prosecutors said is the daughter of Carmona and Martinez, was taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital in good condition after the fire, according to police.
The girl is now in the care of relatives, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Jimmy Whitelow said.
Carmona appeared in court in a faded black hoodie Sunday afternoon while a small group of his family members looked on in tears.
"I find that you are a dangerous individual," the judge said before denying Carmona bond.
Carmona used a five-gallon tank to pour gasoline in the basement apartment apartment he shared with Martinez, according to Assistant State's Attorney Brad Dickey. The tank was later found within several feet of Martinez' body, Dickey said.
The incident began when Martinez took her cellphone and left the couple's bedroom that night, Dickey said. Carmona believed the act to be a sign she was having an affair.
A trail of gasoline was found leading from a laundry room to different areas of the house, Dickey said. Gas was also found on Carmona's clothing, he said.
Carmona later escorted the couple's 6-year-old daughter out of the apartment, accoding to Dickey.
Whitelow said DCFS is investigating Martinez for "allegations of neglect." DCFS has not had prior contact with the family, Whitelow said.
"We really don't have much of a comment," one of Carmona's relatives said following the proceeding. "We're just trying to get over the grief."
Carmona is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated arson. He is scheduled to re-appear in court on Tuesday.