Woman Found Burning in Garage was Beaten, Strangled

Maria Santiago was burned on her legs and torso, and it appeared someone had thrown charcoals at her, possibly to start a fire in an attempt to cover up the murder, official said.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Maria Santiago

    A woman found burning inside an Uptown neighborhood garage Thursday morning was strangled and beaten to death, an autopsy determined.

    The victim was identified as Maria Santiago, 54, of the 5000 block of North Clark Street, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

    A spokesperson said Santiago died of strangulation and multiple blunt trauma from an assault. The death was ruled a homicide.

    Firefighters were called shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday to a garage fire at Santiago's address and found her dead inside.

    She was burned on her legs and torso, and it appeared someone had thrown charcoals at her, possibly to start a fire in an attempt to cover up the slaying, a police Bomb & Arson Section sergeant said. Nothing else inside the garage was burning.

    Belmont Area detectives are investigating, but a Belmont District police sergeant would not say Friday afternoon if a suspect was in custody. 

    Santiago's body was found burning inside this garage on the 5000 block of North Clark Street.