02/18/2007

Chicago: Officers responding to domestic find 3 bodies, man with hammer

The Associated Press

CHICAGO — Three women were found bludgeoned to death with a hammer in two apartments on the city's far North Side, and police had a suspect in custody Sunday.

Officers found the bodies after they were called to a domestic dispute Saturday morning.

They also found a man hitting himself on the head with a blunt object, apparently trying to kill himself, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. The 56-year-old man was hospitalized in police custody and was in fair condition early Sunday, authorities said.

No charges had been filed by early Sunday.

Police Officer Hector Alfaro said investigators learned that the suspect had quarreled with his wife and her stepsister at their home, had apparently bludgeoned them and then went around the corner to his in-laws' house, where he apparently attacked his mother-in-law.

Authorities did not release the name of the victims, but neighbors and friends identified two of the women as Karmin Khooshabeh, 44, and her stepsister, Karolin Khooshabeh, 40. They said the third victim was their 60-year-old mother.

Karmin Khooshabeh was the arrested man's wife, said Robert Estrepaniance, who is Karolin Khooshabeh's neighbor and former husband. The couple had been having marital problems, he said.

Estrepaniance said the family was Assyrian Christian, a minority group in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria. He said he and his former wife had fled Iran in 1995, fearing persecution for their faith. Her parents came to the United States about four years ago, and the family arranged for Karmin Khooshabeh and her husband to immigrate about three months ago, he said.

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