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Illegal immigrant in Illinois accused of nearly decapitating his wife in front of their two children

An illegal immigrant that just crossed the border into the U.S. illegally around two weeks ago, is accused of brutally stabbing his wife to death and nearly decapitating her – in front of their two children.

On April 1, 2024, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Baltazar Perez-Estrada entered the Carol Stream Police Department in Illinois and informed authorities that he had stabbed his wife, Maricela Simon Franco, 26.

Officers said they took Perez-Estrada into custody and immediately opened an investigation. Through the course of their investigation, authorizes discovered Perez-Estrada had crossed into the U.S. from Mexico illegally. He was charged with alien inadmissibility, given a future court date and allowed to continue on his way into the U.S.

Prosecutors allege Perez-Estrada and his wife got into a verbal fight around 10 p.m. at the apartment where they were staying. 

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Baltazar Perez-Estrada is accused of brutally stabbing his wife to death in front of their young children roughly two weeks after he crossed into the United States illegally from Mexico. (DuPage County State Attorney )

Prosecutors said the fight turned physical and Perez-Estrada stabbed Franco dozens of times in her head, neck, body and hands. Prosecutors said the attack was so violent that Franco was nearly decapitated. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The couple have two young children, who police said were both present at the time of the alleged murder.

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“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,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement. 

“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,” Carol Stream Chief of Police Don Cummings said in a statement. 

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Berlin also echoed Cummings and said prosecutors are working to bring justice to Franco.

“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,” Berlin said.

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On Thursday, the court granted the state’s motion to detain Perez-Estrada pre-trial. He’s been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and is due back in court on April 25.

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