A Yost Elementary School teacher was stabbed to death last week apparently
by her husband, who himself died of self-inflicted stab wounds, Ogden Dunes
The bodies of Maria Rodriguez, 50, and her husband, Jaime Rodriguez, 53,
were found on Friday in their vehicle at a rest stop on I-57 near Pesotum,
Ill., on the south side of the Interstate in Champaign County, Ogden Dunes
Town Marshall Jim Reeder told the Chesterton Tribune today.
The body of Maria Rodriguez was found in the trunk of the blue-gray 2006
Saab convertible, he said; that of Jamie Rodriguez, in the car itself.
In an autopsy conducted on Saturday, the Champaign County Coroner determined
that Maria Rodriguez died of multiple stab wounds and Jamie Rodriguez of
self-inflicted stab wounds, Lt. Chris Eckert of the Porter County Sheriff’s
Police told the Tribune.
Reeder gave this account of the investigation, which began at 10:25 a.m.
Friday, after one of the Rodriguezes’ sons found blood in his parents’ Ogden
Dunes home and called 911. The son--who had initially been contacted by the
Duneland School Corporation when Maria Rodriguez failed to show up for class
earlier in the day--drove from Chicago to his parents’ residence in Ogden
Dunes after trying unsuccessfully to reach them by phone, Reeder said. There
he found blood on the floor and a note which gave Reeder reason to believe
that an abduction, probably of Maria Rodriguez, had occurred. “What alarmed
me besides the blood was the note,” which Reeder said read in part: “Sons,
you’re in good hands with your friends. They will help you. Love you.
At least we are both gone.” The note was left on a wall and some attempt had
been made to clean up the blood, he added.
Reeder himself reached the scene at 10:34 a.m.--he was in the middle of a
semi stop and had not heard the dispatch over the engine noise of the
truck--and immediately requested the assistance of the PCSP Detective Bureau
and crime scene technicians, Reeder said. He also requested the assistance
of the Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force, which promptly sent
detectives to the scene from the Chesterton, Porter, Valparaiso, Portage,
and Dyer police departments, and the process of interviewing friends,
family, and co-workers began, Reeder said.
About an hour later, at 11:30 a.m., the PCSP contacted the Rodriguezes’ cell
phone provider to obtain a GPS locate. Triangulation narrowed the location
of the cell phone to a stretch of I-57 in the Champaign-Urbana area, Reeder
said, a call was made to the Illinois State Police, and at 1:20 p.m.
troopers found the Rodriguezes’ vehicle and their bodies at the rest stop.
Reeder said that family members had last spoken to the Rodriguezes on
Tuesday night and that Maria Rodriguez did teach on the first day of school
on Wednesday. The abduction is believed to have occurred sometime later on
Wednesday because at 10:03 p.m. that day surveillance cameras stationed by
the Illinois Department of Transportation at the I-57 rest stop caught an
image of the Saab, Reeder said.
The Duneland School Corporation canceled classes on Thursday after the
previous night’s tornado, so Maria Rodriguez’s absence was not noted until
There is no history of police responses to the Rodriguez home in Ogden
Dunes, Reeder said.