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Man who confessed to murdering ex-girlfriend and son sued police in 2012 for $6 million

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Sept. 26–Authorities arrested Daniel Barraza in the stabbing deaths of his ex-girlfriend and 4-year-old son when he returned to the woman’s Stone Park home two days after the killings and made a startling statement to relatives at a vigil outside, according to prosecutors.

“Call the police,” Barraza allegedly told relatives. “I’m the one who killed them.”

Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Bob Kunkel made the allegations in a brief bond hearing for Barraza, 32, of Melrose Park, on Monday afternoon in the Maywood branch of Cook County Circuit Court.

Barraza is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the stabbings of Miriam Cruz Hurtado, 31, and Corbin Dallas Barraza in their home in the 1700 block of North Mannheim Road on Thursday.

Judge Paula Daleo ordered that Barraza be held without bond.

Barraza was arrested about 8:50 p.m. on Saturday after he had returned to woman’s home.

In addition to telling relatives he’d killed Hurtado and Corbin, Barraza confessed to authorities, Kunkel said in court.

Barraza stabbed Hurtado about 20 times and strangled her, Kunkel said. He also stabbed and strangled Corbin then placed him in a bed and covered him in a sheet, Kunkel told the court.

Assistant Public Defender Valerie Panozzo said in court that witnesses have indicated that Barraza is schizophrenic and may have stopped taking medication. Barraza had attempted suicide “at least one previous time,” Panozzo said, and she asked that Barraza be placed in a mental health facility.

Hurtado’s mother and 12-year-old niece found the bodies on Thursday night at Hurtado’s home, Kunkel said at the hearing. They had grown concerned after Hurtado failed to show up to drive a sister to work that day, Kunkel said.

Authorities have recovered a bloody knife with fingerprints and Barraza’s boots stained with blood, Kunkel said. Hurtado’s landlord stated he saw Barraza drive Hurtado’s car from the woman’s home on Friday morning, Kunkel said.

In addition, investigators have obtained surveillance video showing Barraza parking Hurtado’s car and boarding a train, Kunkel said.

Later on Monday, Elgin police verified that Barraza had sued the department in 2012 after he was shot by police following his escape from a patrol car in March of that year.

According to reports at that time, Barraza had been arrested on warrants charging him with resisting arrest and fleeing and eluding police. While being driven to a bond court hearing at the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows, Barraza kicked out one of the car’s windows and then escaped from the car near Illinois Highway 53 and Algonquin Road.

The officer shot him. Barraza later filed a lawsuit claiming excessive force against the city and asked for $6 million.

Barraza’s attorney said the suit was dropped as part of a confidential settlement with Elgin. The city’s corporation counsel did not immediately respond to questions regarding the suit.

Barraza’s next court date is Oct. 2 in Maywood.

Janelle Walker is a freelance reporter for the Elgin Courier-News.

tgregory@chicagotribune.com

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