Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Sofia Garcia's body was found Monday afternoon, April 21, 2008, at a home in the 1700 block of North Harding Avenue in Chicago. Police are looking for Benito Casanova, and issued an Amber Alert Monday after they say he picked up Garcia's three children from school Friday and hasn't been seen since. (Memorial photo)

A memorial for Sofia Garcia was put together Tuesday at Yates Elementary School where she used to take ESL classes. Garcia was found murdered and her three children are missing. (Tribune photo by Candice C. Cusic / April 22, 2008)

Benito Casanova is sought in the abduction of three children; Oscar Casanova, 6; Karla Casanova, 7; and Fernando Casanova, 11. Their mother, Sophia Garcia, was found dead in the 1700 block of North Harding Avenue about noon Monday with a plastic bag over her head. (Photo courtesy National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)

Oscar Casanova, 6, (from left) Karla Casanova, 7, and Fernando Casanova, 11, are reported to have been abducted at 2:30 p.m. on Friday from the 1800 block of North Richmond Street in Chicago. They may be in a a silver/gray Dodge Dakota with single Illinois license plate, No. 86196HB. (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children photo)

Slain Chicago woman had order of protection against husband
Amber Alert: Father sought in connection with children's abduction
By Angela Rozas, Ofelia Casillas and Dan P. Blake Tribune reporters
4:50 PM CDT, April 22, 2008

A mother of three found dead with a plastic bag over her head had an order of protection barring her husband from contacting her, according to court records.

Police are looking for the man, Benito Casanova, and issued an Amber Alert Monday after they say he picked up her three children from school Friday and hasn't been seen since.

The order of protection, granted by authorities in February 2007 and in effect until 2009, came after Sofia Garcia, 30, alleged Casanova choked her in her home and told her he would kill her if she wouldn't take him back."

He had entered my home and hid until I returned," she wrote in the petition, ". . .[choked] me telling me that he was going to kill me because I did not want to be with him. He ALWAYS tells me that he is going to KILL me if I don't take him back, then kill himself."

(Tribune reporters Jeremy Gorner and Kristen Kridel contributed to this report.)

Benito Casanova, described as about 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

The children were identified as: Fernando Casanova, 11, Karla Casanova, 7, and Oscar Casanova, 6. Police said Benito Casanova is the father of Fernando and Oscar Casanova. Fernando is described as 5 feet tall and 130 pounds. Oscar is described as 4 feet tall and 60 pounds. Karla is about 4 feet tall and 75 pounds.

The three children are Hispanic with brown hair and eyes.

They may be traveling in a 2002 silver or gray Dodge Dakota,
with Illinois license plate 86196HB, police said. One plate is missing from the car.

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