Before he hid his pregnant ex-girlfriend's body in a forest preserve, a Humbolt Park man watched television with their 4-year-old daughter and took her to school Thursday morning, according to prosecutors.
Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil said it was that chilling sequence of events that she had to consider before ordering Justino Correa, 19, held without bail Saturday. Correa, of the 1000 block of North Richmond Street, is accused of fatally stabbing Jasmin Salas, 20, and dumping her corpse in the woods in a plastic container.
On his porch Saturday morning, Lazaro Salas fought back tears as he recalled his sister's efforts to move beyond the "abusive relationship" with Correa she ended two years ago. Jasmin Salas had custody of Jaylene, the young girl, but her ex-boyfriend was challenging her in court, according to her brother.
He said she had been balancing a fast food job with classes to become a social worker, hoping to one day use her tumultuous relationship with Correa as a teaching moment for other women.
"She promised herself she would help out other people," said Lazaro Salas, 30. "That's what she always wanted to do."
Earlier Thursday morning, prosecutors said Correa stabbed Jasmin Salas multiple times during an argument in the basement of his home. When she was dead, he put a bag over her head and went upstairs to tend to Jaylene.
Salas' remains were found Thursday night at Thatcher Woods in west suburban River Forest. Prosecutors said Correa put Salas' body in a garbage bag and placed the bag in a plastic container before dropping it off in the forest preserve.
Correa was arrested after showing up Thursday night at Norwegian-American Hospital, encouraged to ask for stitches for a cut wound from the domestic incident. He confessed when police arrived at the hospital, even providing them detailed directions to where he dumped the body, according to prosecutors.
The Cook County medical examiner's office said Jasmin Salas died from multiple stab and incise wounds and her death was ruled a homicide. The medical examiner's office confirmed she was expecting a child when she died.
A statement from the Chicago Police Department called Jasmin Salas Correa's girlfriend, though her brother said that was not the case. She was five months pregnant with another child with her new boyfriend, who Lazaro Salas described as a significant improvement over Correa.
"She was actually happy, always smiling," he said.
Richard Blass, Correa's lawyer, told reporters Saturday his client graduated from high school in Chicago and has been accepted to Wright College. Blass declined to comment further, saying he hardly had any time to talk to Correa before his court appearance.
The suspect had a white bandage on his right hand as he stood before the judge.
Lazaro Salas said the only reason his sister saw Correa was Jaylene. The last time the sister and brother spoke, he said she could not stop talking about the young girl.
"She loved her daughter dearly," he said. "She was loved by her nieces and nephews. It's upsetting knowing they're going to grow up without (her)."
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