Wednesday, August 12, 2015

08122015 - Domestic Violence Murder of Maria Contreras, Portage Indiana



Portage man in domestic shooting dies
Post-Tribune (IN) 
August 16, 2015
Portage Police Chief Troy Williams confirmed Saturday that Miguel Contreras, who is suspected of shooting and killing his wife Wednesday before turning the gun on himself, has died.

Maria Contreras, 45, suffered multiple gunshot injuries that resulted in her death, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said last week. Her death was ruled a homicide.

It was unclear exactly when Miguel Contreras, 51, died. Williams said he died late Friday or early Saturday. He had been transferred from Methodist Hospitals' Northlake campus in Gary on Wednesday to a suburban Chicago hospital, according to a Methodist official.

"He was removed from life support and succumbed to injuries from a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Williams said. He shot himself in the head.

Since both Miguel and Maria Contreras have died, "there isn't really anything else investigatory we need to do," Williams said.

The Portage Police Department received a call at 4:12 p.m. Wednesday about a verbal disturbance at the Contreras residence, in the 3000 block of Edith Street in the Sandalwood Estates subdivision on the city's east side.

The call was updated with information about possible shots fired, and Williams has said three or four shots were fired during the incident.

Officers found Maria Contreras partially outside an open glass siding door at the back of the house. Miguel Contreras, found in the adjacent living room, was still breathing when he was taken to the hospital. Police found a semi-automatic handgun believed to be used in the shooting in the house.

The couple's 22-year-old son was home at the time of the shooting, and their daughter was at college.










Man dies after allegedly killing wife, shooting self
NWI Times
By Bob Kasarda
August 15, 2015
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/man-dies-after-allegedly-killing-wife-shooting-self/article_9c5252e8-0942-54f5-9aff-80df97fc988b.html





PORTAGE | The man believed responsible for shooting and killing his estranged wife last week has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound stemming from the incident, according to Portage Police Chief Troy Williams.

Miguel Contreras, 51, died either Friday night or early Saturday at a Chicago hospital where he had been transported, Williams said.

"It's very sad," Williams said. "Very tragic."

Miguel Contreras is believed to have shot Maria Contreras and then himself about 4 p.m. Wednesday at her home in the 3000 block of Edith Street in the Sandalwood Estates subdivision on Portage's east side, police said.

Police said they were called to the home for a report of a verbal disturbance and were told while en route that shots had been fired. They arrived to find Maria Contreras' body lying across the track of a sliding glass door at the rear of the house with her body half inside and half outside the home.

Miguel Contreras was found inside the home, injured but still breathing, police said.

The couple had a final divorce hearing scheduled for Sept. 29, according to court records. Maria Contreras had told the courts nearly a year ago that she feared her husband would hurt her as part of the separation.

"The thought of him losing complete control of our marriage could well cause him to act violently and irrationally," she said in a handwritten letter used to help convince the court in September to order Miguel Contreras to stay away from her.

Elsewhere in the same letter, she said Miguel Contreras "has demanded complete control of everything" during their 22-year marriage. She said the marriage had been terrible during its last two years and Miguel Contreras had refused to disclose information about their assets.

"Recently, when I told him I was leaving, he told me I should kill myself rather than return home," she said.

Maria Contreras secured the protective order in September in anticipation of the divorce. It was then dismissed at her request two weeks later, according to court records.










Portage woman's death ruled a homicide 
Husband remains hospitalized in Gary
Post-Tribune (IN)
August 14, 2015
www.newsbank.com
A Portage woman shot in an apparent murder-attempted suicide died from multiple gunshot wounds, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said Thursday, adding her death has been ruled a homicide.

The time of death for Maria Contreras, 45, was 4:39 p.m. Wednesday, he said. Contreras died at her home in the 3000 block of Edith Street in the Sandalwood Estates subdivision on Portage's east side.

Her husband, Miguel Contreras, 51, sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police said Wednesday, and was transported to Methodist Hospitals Northlake campus in Gary. The extent of his injuries was critical, police said Wednesday, but his condition was not immediately known Thursday.

Miguel Contreras has not been charged.

Portage Police Chief Troy Williams has said his department received a call at 4:12 p.m. Wednesday about a verbal disturbance at the residence, and the call was updated with information about possible shots fired. Williams said three or four shots were fired during the incident.

Officers found Maria Contreras partially outside an open glass sliding door at the back of the house. Miguel Contreras, found in the adjacent living room, was still breathing when he was transported to the hospital. Police found a semi-automatic handgun believed to be used in the shooting in the house.

The couple's 22-year-old son was home at the time of the shooting and their daughter was at college.










Shooting victim warned of potential harm
NWI Times
08/13/2015
Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/porter/shooting-victim-warned-of-potential-harm/article_82924695-752d-5a2c-b7d1-2c79e6e35f65.html





PORTAGE | A woman shot and killed at her home Wednesday had told the courts nearly a year earlier that she feared the alleged gunman - her estranged husband - would hurt her.

"The thought of him losing complete control of our marriage could well cause him to act violently and irrationally," Maria Contreras said in a handwritten letter used to help convince the court in September to order Miguel Contreras to stay away from her.

Elsewhere in the same letter, she said Miguel Contreras "has demanded complete control of everything" during their 22-year marriage. She said the marriage had been terrible during its last two years and Miguel Contreras had refused to disclose information about their assets.

"Recently, when I told him I was leaving, he told me I should kill myself rather than return home," she said.

Miguel Contreras, 51, is believed to have shot Maria Contreras, 45, and then himself around 4 p.m. at her home in the 3000 block of Edith Street in the Sandalwood Estates subdivision on the city's east side, police said. Miguel Contreras, who has not been charged, survived the apparent suicide attempt and is hospitalized in an unknown condition.

The couple had a final divorce hearing scheduled for Sept. 29, according to court records.

Police said they were called to the home Wednesday for a report of a verbal disturbance and were told while en route that shots had been fired. They arrived to find Maria Contreras' body lying across the track of a sliding glass door at the rear of the house with her body half inside and half outside the home.

Miguel Contreras was found inside the home, injured but still breathing. He was transported to The Methodist Hospitals' Northlake campus in Gary.

Police found a semi-automatic handgun believed to have been used in the homicide inside the home.

Maria Contreras secured the protective order in September in anticipation of the divorce.

"I am very fearful that he will harm me when he is served with the divorce papers that I am filing with this protective order," she wrote. "I ask that he be removed from the marital residence pending a provisional hearing in the divorce."

The protective order was issued and then dismissed at Maria Contreras' request two weeks later, according to court records.

Maria Contreras was pronounced dead at her home at 4:39 p.m., Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said.

The cause of death was ruled multiple gunshot wounds suffered in a homicide, Harris said.

The case remains under investigation by Portage police.

Miguel Contreras was also arrested for drunk driving in July 2010, according to court records.










Portage woman's death ruled a homicide
August 13, 2015, 3:05pm
Chicago Post Tribune

A Portage woman shot and killed in an apparent murder-attempted suicide died from multiple gunshot wounds, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said Thursday, adding her death has been ruled a homicide.

The time of death for Maria Contreras, 45, was 4:39 p.m. Wednesday, he said. Contreras died at her home in the 3000 block of Edith Street in the Sandalwood Estates subdivision on Portage's east side.

Her husband, Miguel Contreras, 51, suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police said Wednesday, and was transported to Methodist Hospitals Northlake campus in Gary. The extent of his injuries were critical, police said Wednesday, but his condition was not immediately known Thursday.

Miguel Contreras has not been charged.

Portage Police Chief Troy Williams has said his department received a call at 4:12 p.m. Wednesday about a verbal disturbance at the residence, and the call was updated with information about possible shots fired. Williams said three or four shots were fired during the incident.

Officers found Maria Contreras partially outside an open glass siding door at the back of the house. Miguel Contreras, found in the adjacent living room, was still breathing when he was transported to the hospital. Police found a semi-automatic handgun believed to be used in the shooting in the house.

The couple's 22-year-old son was home at the time of the shooting and their daughter was at college. The couple was married at one time but police did not know the status of their relationship.

Amy Lavalley is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.










Woman shot to death in Portage home
August 13, 2015, 8:01 am
Chicago Post Tribune
Amy Lavalley


A Portage woman is dead and a man is critically wounded after what Portage police are calling an apparent murder-attempted suicide Wednesday afternoon in a subdivision on the city's east side.

The woman was dead at the scene and the man, who suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, was transported to Methodist Hospital Northlake campus in Gary, police said at the scene. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris was at the home Wednesday evening. Harris identified the woman as 45-year-old Maria S. Contreras.

A neighbor who asked that his name not be used said he first thought he heard fireworks in the garage, then realized it was gunfire.

Police Chief Troy Williams said his department received a call at 4:12 p.m. about a verbal disturbance in the 3000 block of Edith Street in the Sandalwood Estates subdivision. The call was updated with information about possible shots fired. Williams said three or four shots were fired during the incident.

Officers found Contreras partially outside an open glass siding door at the back of the house. The man, found in the adjacent living room, was still breathing when he was transported to the hospital, Williams said, adding police found a semi-automatic handgun believed to be used in the shooting in the house.

Williams said the man and woman were at one time married, but that he did not know the status of their relationship. He wasn't aware of other calls to the house by police.

The couple's 22-year-old son was home at the time, officials said.

"He ran out of the house shortly after shots were fired or as the shots were fired," Williams said, adding the couple also has a daughter in college.

Neighbors gathered in clusters in the neighborhood, which was lined with police cars, the police department's mobile investigations unit, and the coroner's van. The house was marked off with yellow crime scene tape.

One neighbor, who declined to give his name, said the couple had lived there around nine years.

The neighbor said the man worked as a mechanic and they shared an interest in cars, and the neighbor often talked to the couple's son about race cars.

"They're a quiet family. We didn't hear nothing from them," he said, adding other than car talk. "It was normal. It was hi-bye."

The neighbor was outside with his toddler son when he heard the gunshots and first thought the sound was fireworks in the garage, he said.

"I heard three successive gunshots, a loud scream and another gunshot, then silence. That's when the son started running toward me," the neighbor said. "You're doing your daily routine and stuff like this happens. It changes your life in a second."










Woman killed in apparent murder, attempted suicide in Portage
August 12, 2015 8:45 pm  
Joyce Russell 









PORTAGE | One woman is dead and a man seriously wounded in what is an apparent murder, attempted suicide, police said.

Police were called to the home at 3027 Edith St., in the Sandalwood subdivision, just east of Airport Road, about 4 p.m. on a call of a verbal disturbance, according to Police Chief Troy Williams.

As police were en route to the home, they were notified that shots had been fired.

Williams said when police arrived, they found the woman lying half inside and half outside a sliding glass door in the rear of the home. She was already dead, he said. The man was inside the house, still breathing.

Williams, who is not identifying the man and woman, said the man was transported to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary.

A semi-automatic handgun, thought to be the weapon, was found in the house.

Williams said the man and woman were at least at one time married, but was uncertain of their relationship status.

Their adult son who had just returned home, came running out of the house saying his father had a gun, Williams said.

A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said he was outside when he heard a series of three shots, a scream and then saw a young man run out of the house.

The couple also has a daughter, who is away at college, Williams said.

Neighbors gathered around the home at the intersection of Edith Street and Rose Ellen Avenue. Most said they only knew the couple by waving and that the man spent much of his time working on cars.

They said the neighborhood is usually very quiet.

Williams didn't know if police had been called to the home on any other occasions.

Police cordoned off the home with yellow crime scene tape as more than a dozen police officers went in and out of the house and talked to neighbors. A van from the Porter County coroner's office was on the scene as well as Portage's crime scene investigation unit.

"Our investigation continues and we are saddened that such a tragedy occurred," Williams said in a statement released Wednesday night.

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