CHICAGO (CBS)– Bond was denied for a Rockford man, his girlfriend and his mother, who were all charged with the murder of Michael Armendariz, 20, of Naperville, according to the DuPage County State’s Attorney.
Ernest Collins, 22, Cassandra Green, 21, and Candice Jones, 38, have been charged with first degree murder, one count of aggravated kidnapping, one count of armed robbery and one count of concealment of a homicidal death.
Collins and Green were also charged with one count of residential burglary.
Armendariz was reported missing in January of 2018. His body was discovered six months later in an abandoned house in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.
DuPage County prosecutors say Green, a childhood friend of Armendariz, had seen social media posts of him with money and drugs. She showed them to Collins, her boyfriend, and his mother, Jones.
Prosecutors say Jones sent the couple to burglarize Amandariz’s Naperville apartment, but they failed four times. Then, prosecutors say, an angry Jones gave her son a gun and a new plan.
“This time the plan was to attempt another robbery of the victim, but this time, Ernest Collins would shoot the victim after he got into the car,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said.
Prosecutors say they lured Armendariz into their car, and Collins shot him twice in the head. The two drove the body back to Englewood, where Jones hid it in a garbage can in her garage, later moved it to a vacant house next door and eventually led police to find it by reporting a foul smell.
“The facts alleged in this case indicate a complete and utter disregard for human life and the rule of law,” Berlin said.
Through vehicle descriptions, social media posts and DNA, investigators were led to the three suspects.
Michael Armendariz’s mother, Corina Marin, says the arrests give her no peace.
“I don’t feel better. I feel worse because the truth hurts,” Marin said.
Her only comfort is that her son’s childhood friend turned alleged killer is now behind bars and without her newborn baby.
“You know now what it feels to not have your baby,” Marin said. “That’s what I want to tell Cassie.”
The three charged are scheduled to be back in court March 4.
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