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Murder charge expected soon against Knox man

Updated: July 11, 2014 6:29AM



Police and prosecutors in Starke County are awaiting the results of an autopsy on a Portage woman before charging anyone in her death last week.

Kimberly Chavez, 50, was found dead Friday in her estranged husband’s home in the 8000 block of South U.S. 35 in Knox.

Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff said he hopes to announce charges against Gary Chavez, whom he referred to as “our suspect.” Chavez, 57, has been charged with carjacking for allegedly stealing two vehicles in the county prior to a lengthy police chase through two counties Friday.

Chavez also stole a pickup truck in Hebron, about 30 miles west of Knox, and then led police on a high-speed chase that ended when he lost control of the truck while trying to get on Interstate 65 from the 109th Avenue exit ramp, authorities said.

They said that as officers approached the truck, Chavez shot himself in the head. He remained in critical condition Monday at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill.

Kenny Pfost, chief of detectives for Starke County sheriff’s police, said Monday afternoon that police would not have more information to release until the autopsy is completed.

Murders are uncommon in mostly rural Starke County. Pfost said there may be one murder a year or every other year, and most are domestic in nature. The last murder was in February 2013.

He said sheriff’s police got a call about 3:50 p.m. from the victim of the first carjacking, which occurred at Bailey’s Discount Center in North Judson. The second carjacking took place a short while later in the English Lake area.



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