cold case murder of Carmen Charneco and her baby - Elgin, Illinois - July 24, 1993

On July 24, 1993, police found the dead body of Carmen Charneco in the passenger seat of her gray Pontiac, which was abandoned on the side of Eastbound Northwest Tollway near the route 25 onramp. The 18-year-old girl had been placed in a position that suggested she was asleep, but in fact she had been strangled by her killer. Her unborn son had died with her.

Carmen had just graduated from Dundee Crown High School and found a new job as a service employee at a home improvement store in Elgin. She had just broken up with her baby's father, her boyfriend Edwin Rodriguez. The Puerto Rican man was a paroled felon who allegedly assaulted her. According to her parents, Carmen was getting her life in order after a difficult period, so that she and the baby would have a good life.

Police Investigation
The police investigated the murder and questioned the people close to Carmen. After conversations with friends, investigators learned that the mother-to-be had visited a friend in Carpentersville on the night of July 23. Not wanting to make it too late, she left around midnight to go home. Detectives suspected that Carmen stopped for some reason along the way, and that she was then killed.

Conversations with the teenager's family, friends and colleagues yielded few leads. Her family described Carmen as a hard-working young woman who meant everything to her loved ones. According to them, she was a sweet, caring woman who often came to the rescue when people needed her, and in such cases was often willing to look after the children of neighbors, for example.

The police were very interested in hearing the story of ex-boyfriend Edwin Rodriguez, because according to friends of Carmen, he would probably know more about what happened. However, the man suddenly disappeared without a trace shortly after the murder.

POI Edwin Rodriguez
Because the police wanted to question him about the murder of his ex-girlfriend, an active search was made for the Puerto Rican. Multiple calls were made to people who knew his whereabouts, and a $5,000 offer was made for information leading to his arrest. Police warned that Rodriguez should be considered armed and dangerous as he had a history of drug and gun involvement. According to authorities, he is a member of an Illinois street gang called Maniac Latin Disciples. The police wanted him for questioning and parole violation and at that moment didn't charge him for murder. Because of his escape, Rodriguez is a wanted fugitive

In August 1997, police learned through a tip that Rodriguez had been seen at a homeless shelter in New York City. When they got there, he was already gone. However, his earlier presence was confirmed. The police were just too late. Investigators did not give up and actively searched for their person of interest. He was seen in cities including New York City, Hialeah, Florida and Aguada, Aguadilla Puerto Rico, according to witnesses. The police were never able to locate him. 

They suspected that Rodriguez may have gone through life as a transvestite to avoid recognition. The criminal was known to shave his head and facial hair to conceal his appearance and thereby mislead witnesses.

Unfortunately, the police were so far unable to solve the murder of 18-year-old Carmen Charneco . The fact that her ex-boyfriend could not be found since the murder did not help the investigation. Carmen's family and the police think there are people who know more. Is that you? Do you know more about the murder? Even if it's just a small detail, let us know. Also, if you know the whereabouts of Rodriguez. Don't hesitate and get in touch now (anonymously) using the form below.

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