Michael Rafael Armendariz, 20, January 14, 2018, Naperville, DuPage County, Illinois

Michael Rafael Armendariz, 20

January 14, 2018

Naperville, Illinois


Michael was reported missing when he failed to show up for work. His mother reported that the last person to see Michael was his roommate, who said Michael left his apartment located on the 100 block of South Whispering Hills Drive in Naperville, Illinois and got in to a black Ford Explorer. No one knew who’s vehicle it was at the time, later to learn that his phone last pinged on a cell tower on the south side of Chicago. The phone had not been turned on or used since his disappearance. His mother lead several searches in several different areas hoping to find her son and bring him home.


Michael’s body was found in a blue garbage can on a property in Chicago. He was shot two times in the back of his head.


Cassandra Green, 21 of Rockford knew Michael since she was eleven years old. In 2018 She showed her boyfriend, Ernest Collins also of Rockford and his mother, Candice Jones, 38, photos of Michael with pictures of him holding cash and drugs. They devised a plan to rob him of the money and drugs, kill him and dispose of Michael’s body.



All three suspects have been charged with murder, aggravated kidnapping, armed robbery and concealment of a homicidal death. Cassandra and her boyfriend have an additional charge of residential burglary. The Chicago Tribune reports that when they arrested Candice (the mother) they located the weapon they believe was used to murder Michael. All three suspects were held with no bond at the DuPage County Jail awaiting trial.


Chicago Tribune reports that the mother Candice masterminded the plan to rob, kidnap and murder Michael, telling her son that he’s “going to do this”, and threatening his girlfriend Cassandra that if she told anyone she would kill Cassandra and her mother.


The Tribune reported that after Michael’s body was recovered, police were able to tie him to Cassandra via social media and records of the black SUV. Cassandra was pulled over by police prior to Michael’s murder. Cassandra allegedly admitted to police that they had tried to rob Michael at least four times prior to his actual murder, beginning in December 2017. One of those times they had bought ”lock pick tools online to break in to (Michael’s) apartment but could not break in”.




On the night Michael was murdered the Mother Candice allegedly gave them her gun to use. Prosecutors said that Cassandra drove while her boyfriend Ernest was hiding in the back seat. Waiting outside, Cassandra sent Michael a snapchat saying she was outside his home. They picked him up from his home leading Michael to believe they were going to the Naperville Wal-Mart where they were going to steal a bottle of alcohol. Ernest shot Michael in the vehicle, in the back of the head twice. They covered Michael’s body with a blanket and drove to Chicago, with Michael’s body in the front passenger seat. They went to the mother Candice’s home took Michael’s body out of the car, went through his pockets taking his wallet, vape pen, keys and phone and threw them in the blue recycling bin. They put Michael’s body in her garage. Later she told her son to put him in the garage in the home next door on the 6800 block of South Artesian Avenue in Chicago that was vacant. They took the keys and robbed Michael’s home the next day.


Allegedly, They took the items from the recycling bin including the blanket they used to conceal Michael’s body and burned them in a fire pit. Later, Detectives recovered those items, the weapons and the spent shell casings. The SUV was also recovered and taken for processing, recovering DNA found in the vehicle matching Michael’s.


The mother Candice later called 311 several times to complain of a strange odor coming from the vacant house next door to hers. She said she knew it was Michael’s body in the garage and she wanted to “free his soul”.



Law Enforcement located Michael’s body in the recycling bin at the vacant residence next to Candice’s home June 2018 (in the Marquette Park neighborhood of Chicago).


Unfortunately like several others, Michael Armendariz is still listed as missing in the national missing persons database (www.namus.gov) and cannot be removed until law enforcement removes it. While we have sent the request to the National Database, they can only remove it when speaking with law enforcement.



Michael was laid to rest at the Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery & Mausoleums located at 1400 S Wolf Rd, Hillside, IL 60162. His mother wrote a beautiful obituary copied here:


Obituary: “Michael Armendariz, a passionate aspiring artist and life-long resident of the Lombard/Villa Park, IL area, died unexpectedly on January 14, 2018 at the age of 20, a victim of a violent crime.

Michael is survived by his parents, and his brothers Joe Maynez, Carlos Armendariz, and Eric Armendariz; his grandmothers Maria Yanez and Maricela Ferral.

Michael was born in Glendale Heights on June 27, 1997 to Rafael Armendariz and Corina Marin. Mikey was a very emotional and sensitive human being and cared deeply about matters of the family and his home. ... his family were the most important part of his life aside from his passion for music. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” This is a lesson learned from my son Michael. Not only did he dance in the rain, he wanted to dance in the rain.

Michael had an exorbitant number of storms during his short life so he knew from experience that another storm was coming on the heels of the one that just passed. If he hadn’t learned to dance; he may have remained dry, but unfulfilled. He was fulfilled. He will be deeply missed by his friends, family, and all who knew him.

My son lived his life on his terms. He listened, but did not take advice. He did not conform to social “norms.” But he was not a rebel. He was not rebelling against anything or anyone. He was a free-spirit who lived in the present, and again, on his terms. He was a dreamer. He was a leader. He had followers. He could enter a room and brighten it with his smile, his attitude, or just his presence. He had "it." He had so many dreams and so many plans for the future. He would have made these dreams come true.

He did not die on his terms. He did not want to leave us. He loved us. He will continue to love us. My son, Michael Rafael Armendariz, died a man. He should have died with the dignity and the respect he deserved. He achieved his goal of making us proud. He achieved his goal of being proud of himself. Our lives will never be the same. He made sure of that.

Michael, I love you with all my heart; I am profoundly proud of you; I look forward to seeing you again when the time comes. I will continue to be the best mom I can be to your brothers, as you expect. I will continue to seek justice, I will not let you down, It’s my turn to make you proud. Rest in peace; and never, never stop dancing in the rain. It's all good my son.”



COURT INFORMATION:

Cassandra Green

Case Number 2019CF000327

DuPage County Courthouse

May 1, 2020 at 9:00 A.M. Room# 4014

Charges:

1. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-INTEND DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM

2. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-INTEND DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM

3. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-INTEND DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM

4. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-PROBABILITY OF DEATH

5. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-PROBABILITY OF DEATH

6. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-FORCIBLE FELONY

7. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-FORCIBLE FELONY

8. AGGRAVATED KIDNAPPING WHILE ARMED WITH FIREARM

9. ARMED ROBBERY WITH FIREARM

10. CONCEAL HOMICIDAL DEATH

11. RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY

Ernest M Collins

Case Number 2019CF000328

DuPage County Courthouse

April 17, 2020 at 9:00 A.M. Room# 4014

Charges:

1. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-INTEND DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM

2. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-INTEND DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM

3. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-INTEND DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM

4. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-PROBABILITY OF DEATH

5. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-PROBABILITY OF DEATH

6. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-FORCIBLE FELONY

7. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-FORCIBLE FELONY

8. AGGRAVATED KIDNAPPING WHILE ARMED WITH FIREARM

9. ARMED ROBBERY WITH FIREARM

10. CONCEAL HOMICIDAL DEATH

11. RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY

Candace Jones

Case Number 2019CF000329

DuPage County Courthouse

April 14, 2020 at 9:00 A.M. Room# 4014

Charges:

1. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-INTEND DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM

2. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-INTEND DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM

3. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-INTEND DEATH OR GREAT BODILY HARM

4. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-PROBABILITY OF DEATH

5. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-PROBABILITY OF DEATH

6. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-FORCIBLE FELONY

7. MURDER-1ST DEGREE-FORCIBLE FELONY

8. AGGRAVATED KIDNAPPING WHILE ARMED WITH FIREARM

9. ARMED ROBBERY WITH FIREARM

10. CONCEAL HOMICIDAL DEATH



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