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Pilsen Man Killed Girlfriend Then Tried To Commit Suicide, Prosecutors Say

By Quinn Ford | July 12, 2013 4:34pm
 Angel Santiago, 39, was denied bond Friday in the murder of Antonia Berrios.
Angel Santiago, 39, was denied bond Friday in the murder of Antonia Berrios.
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Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — After murdering his girlfriend, a Pilsen man tried unsuccessfully to kill himself before fleeing to Florida, prosecutors said Friday.

A Cook County judge denied bond Friday to Angel Santiago, 39, who allegedly killed his girlfriend in January of 2012 after learning she had been seeing another man.

Prosecutors said Santiago strangled his girlfriend, Antonia Berrios, 33, and then attempted to commit suicide a number of ways. When he failed to kill himself, Santiago fled to Miami, prosecutors said.

On Jan. 24, 2012, five days after Berrios had gone missing, her family went to Santiago's apartment in the 2000 block of South May Street to look for her only to find her lifeless body there, prosecutors said.

Police found sticky notes in the apartment which read "See you on the other side, goodbye," "Now we can be together for eternity" and "Because of Michael this happened," said Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Dillman.

Police also found vomit mixed with pills in the bathroom sink, a bathtub partially filled with water and an extension cord fashioned into a noose on the back porch of the apartment, Dillman said.

Prosecutors said two days earlier, Santiago had taken Berrios' car and debit card and booked a ticket to Miami on a Greyhound bus.

FBI agents tracked Santiago to Florida City, Fla., where he was arrested on June 26 and taken back to Chicago.

On Wednesday, Santiago confessed to Chicago police that he strangled Berrios after reading text messages on her phone and discovering she had started a new relationship with a man named Michael, Dillman said.

After he allegedly killed Berrios, Santiago said he tried to hang himself, then tried electrocuting himself in his bathtub before taking pills in an attempt to overdose, prosecutors said.

Dillman said DNA collected from Santiago "was consistent with" DNA found under Berrios' fingernails, in her car, on the sticky notes and in the vomit found in Santiago's bathroom.

A Cook County public defender appointed to represent Santiago told Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. Friday Santiago has two children, but Panarese said Santiago would be denied bond.