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Court Grants State's Motion to Deny Pre-Trial Release for Carol Stream Man Charged with Murder of His Wife

April 4, 2024

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Carol Stream Chief of Police Don Cummings announced today that Judge Joshua Dieden has granted the State’s motion to deny pre-trial release for a Carol Stream man charged with the murder of his wife, twenty-six-year-old Maricela Simon Franco, following a domestic altercation at her apartment. Baltazar Perez-Estrada, 33 (d.o.b. 6/2/1990) of the 600 block of E. Gunderson Drive, appeared in First Appearance Court this morning charged with five counts of First Degree Murder.

On April 1, 2024, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Perez-Estrada entered the Carol Stream Police Department and informed authorities that he had allegedly stabbed his wife. Officers took Perez-Estrada into custody at this time and immediately opened an investigation. Through the course of their investigation, authorities learned that Perez-Estrada and Franco were at the apartment together and got into a verbal altercation at approximately 10 p.m., the previous evening. It is alleged that the argument turned physical resulting in Perez-Estrada stabbing Franco dozens of times about her head, neck, body and hands, nearly decapitating her head. She was pronounced deceased at the scene. Authorities also learned that Perez-Estada had been residing in Mexico and illegally arrived in the United States approximately two weeks ago. He was charged by the United States Government with alien inadmissibility and given a future court date. The couple have two minor children, both of whom were present at the time of the alleged murder.

“First and foremost, I offer my sincerest condolences to Maricela’s surviving family and friends on their loss and wish them strength as they continue their lives without the love and support provided by Maricela,” Berlin said. “The extremely violent end to a young mother’s life is something that should touch us all. Domestic violence continues to be a scourge on society, claiming more than ten million victims a year in some form or fashion. In this case, the sad reality is, Maricela’s life has been reduced to a statistic of domestic violence due to the alleged actions of her husband, Baltazar Perez-Estrada. This brutal, senseless act of violence alleged against Mr. Perez-Estrada will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I commend the Carol Stream Police Department, DuPage County MERIT as well as the DuPage County Children’s Advocacy Center for their thorough investigation into this tragic case. I thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Lee Roupas and Andrew Poncer for their efforts in securing charges against Mr. Perez-Estrada.”

“The men and women of the Carol Stream Police Department stand by the family and friends of Maricela Simon Franco as they mourn this tragic loss,” Cummings said. “Not only has this senseless and brutal act removed Maricela from their lives, but it has robbed two young children of their mother. As domestic violence continues to victimize so many, law enforcement within DuPage County stands ready to partner with available social service programs to provide a sustainable resolution to those in need. Lastly, I would like to recognize the hard work and collaborative efforts of our detectives and investigators from the DuPage County MERIT Major Crime and Forensic Investigations Units as well as DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin and his team for their legal guidance throughout the investigation.”  

Perez-Estrada’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 25, 2024, for arraignment in front of Judge Mia McPherson.

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Perez-Estrada, Baltazar

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