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How to Help the Children of Homicide Victim Erica Rodriguez

Following the tragic death of Erica Rodriguez, the hospitalization of Martin Rodriguez and the fire that claimed the family's home, the Oak Forest community is collecting donations to help support the family during its time of need.

UPDATED, Dec. 20, 7:11 p.m. 

The family has asked that all those wishing to contribute, please do so with a monetary donation to CNB, Oak Forest, 5459 W. 159th St. Checks should be made payable to CNB Bank and Trust, Rodriguez Family Fund. If someone would like to make an electronic deposit, they should contact the bank directly at 708-535-8905.

The Oak Forest community is banding together in support of the Rodriguez family, who lost their mother and their home Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Following a fire at the Rodriguez family home in the 15200 block of S. Central Avenue, and the revelation that Erica Rodriguez's death was ruled a strangulation homicide, the family is in shock.

"Right now our entire family is trying to come to terms with this devastating news and we truly appreciate all the prayers and word of encouragement," said Steve Johnson, a cousin of Erica Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was a devoted hospice nurse and a mother to three children, ages 17, 15, and 6. 

"Anybody she was around, loved her," Johnson said. "She was one of those upbeat type of people who got along with everybody. Very outgoing."

Family and friends of Erica Rodriguez and the Oak Forest Police Department announced that a fund is being set up at the CNB – Oak Forest, 5459 W. 159th Street, to accept monetary donations. Checks should be made payable CNB Bank and Trust Rodriguez Family Fund. If someone would like to make an electronic deposit, they should contact the bank directly at 708-535-8905.

Oak Forest Police Chief Greg Anderson added in the release that when a tragedy comes to a community, 'everyone feels the pain and we have to help each other any way we can.'

Oak Forest school officials have also begun efforts to help the Rodriguez children—a junior and freshman Oak Forest High School, and a student at Foster Elementary—during their time of need.

The three children are currently with their grandfather in central Illinois, while their father remains in the hospital.

Officials at the high school, where Erica was a 1990 graduate, said that the school is collecting donations of clothes, money, food and anything else that could help the family, at the main office. Donations will be collected through the holiday season and beginning of the year at the school's main office, which will remain open during the winter holiday break.

Foster Elementary and all other schools in the Forest Ridge School District 142 are also coming together to support the family, Foster Principal Curt Beringer said. Beringer said that staff members are conducting a voluntary gift card drive, with staff bringing in $10 cards to local merchants that can help feed and clothe the family. The gift cards will be given to the family Friday, Dec. 21.

Beringer added that any donations from members of the Oak Forest community are also welcome and should be brought to Foster Elementary School by the end of the school day Thursday, Dec. 20.

Oak Forest Girls Softball, the Oak Forest Park District and AC Variety are also holding a gift and clothing drive for the family. Items can be dropped off at the Oak Forest Park District or at the Ferralez residence, 15210 S. Laramie Ave.

Information on clothing sizes and other essential needs of the family will be available shortly.

Read more:

  • Medical Examiner: Woman Found Dead After Fire Was Strangled

Norma Swain December 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM
I would like to give my deepest sympathy to the rodriguez kids and family of Erica please give clothing size as soon as you can!!! n tell them that their mom is watching them from heaven and will ALWAYS be by their side!!!!! No matter how hard life is they have to keep moving their mom is with them <3
Jeff Graveline December 19, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Norma, The article has been updated with the children's clothing sizes. - Jeff Graveline Oak Forest Patch
jasmine smith December 19, 2012 at 10:24 PM
The child that is 6 years old is a girl, fyi
Dawn December 19, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Do you have shoe sizes for the girls? I did not see that in any of the posts. Also I would like to know if cards are left at OFHS will the girls recieve those too?
Jeff Graveline December 20, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Dawn, We don't have shoe sizes for any of the children, but we will look into it. As for cards and such, I believe the high school would be able to get them to the family. - Jeff
joey gonzalez December 20, 2012 at 02:40 AM
The boys shoe size is around 15 or 16, he's a friend of mine
NANCY GRACE December 20, 2012 at 02:57 AM
This is so upsetting she is gone. We will do whatever we can to help the children.
Patty Vopicka December 20, 2012 at 03:31 AM
I will be dropping off a bag of clothes (mostly tops) for the 17 year old tomorrow. My daughter is the same age and size. Prayers for the family.
Patti Makowski December 20, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Dear Erica in heaven now smiling down in us. All of us Nurses from old St Franny miss you dearly and are praying for you and your family. I know in my heart if this was happening to my family you would give your all, I am honored to do what I can to help yours. You will always be loved and remembered, and your smile will never be forgotten. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!
Matt St. Marie December 20, 2012 at 04:46 AM
My prayers go out to you guys. Erica will be loving you from heaven no matter what. What I don't understand is why someone would do that to Erica. She was and still is one of the nicest people I've ever met she won't be forgotten. Oak Forest sends their prayers to the Rodriguez family at their darkest times.
Julia Cabrera December 20, 2012 at 07:00 AM
Erica we will all miss you dearly, your wonderful heart and smile will never be forgoten. I know you will be the most protective angel for your 3 wonderful children. May God give them stength to go through this. My thought and prayers and with you and you family! :(
jessica December 20, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I worked with Erica...such a sweet always smiling girl. An Angel for sure. My daughter is size 12...i am going through her clothes now, we have tons of size 8 and 10 for her daughter. We will drop off bags and bags. My thoughts and prayers go out to Erica's family
Sue1 December 21, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Andrew wears 13.5, but as of now they are pretty set. Please donate to CNB Bank.
theresa December 21, 2012 at 06:30 AM
I have some boys clothes I will drop off and I will also collect some toys for the little girl. I cannot express my heartfelt sympathy. I will always remember Erica's bright smile, it was vibrant and she would light up a room as soon as she walked in. I am deeply saddened and shocked by this awful tragedy.
Cindy (Dean) Runge December 21, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Such a tragedy - Erica grew-up right down the road from me. I remember riding the bus with her. She was a cute little girl and became a beautiful woman - my deepest sympathy to her family and friends.
latavia January 19, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Erica was always more than willing out her way to accommodate me and my children beautifully everytime we were treated as patients where she work.I am so sorry this happened me & my children are sadden by the whole situation. We give our condolences & prayers to Erica & her family. RIP ANGEL ERICA
Ashleigh Guzman April 07, 2013 at 04:57 PM
I believe that Erica shouldn't of lived her life this way she was a kind woman and was never mean. and I don't know why this happened she was a very nice mom and was the mom of my first grade buddy my family and I are so. And my mom went to school with Erica. To the family of Erica my family and i are so sorry for you're loss.

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