A Waukegan man who was charged on Valentine’s Day with killing his former wife, who is the mother of his two kids, pleaded not guilty on Thursday and a judge denied his bond reduction request.
Jose A. Alvarado-Ramirez, 31, of Waukegan, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
Dispatchers received a 911 call on February 14 from Alvarado-Ramirez reporting that his ex-wife was unresponsive inside a vehicle.
The Waukegan Police Department and Waukegan Fire Department responded to the call around 6:45 a.m. in the 500 block of Lakehurst Road.
Waukegan Police Commander Edgar Navarro said officers responded and located Meztli Galindo, 29, of Waukegan, unresponsive in a parked white sedan.
Paramedics arrived and determined the woman was dead at the scene. Friends of Galindo said she was a mother of two children.
The Major Crime Scene Unit and Criminal Investigations Division (CID) detectives were called to investigate.
Detectives interviewed Alvarado-Ramirez, who lives in the 500 block of Lakehurst Road, which is the same block where the murder occurred. Detectives learned he was Galindo’s estranged ex-husband.
An autopsy showed Galindo died as a result of multiple sharp force injuries, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.
Alvarado-Ramirez is being held in the Lake County jail on a $2 million bond. He appeared in front of Lake County Judge James Booras on Thursday for an arraignment hearing.
Alvarado-Ramirez pleaded not guilty to all charges and his defense requested his bond to be lowered, but that request was denied by Booras after Assistant State’s Attorney Donald Tyer had objected to the request.
Booras set a case management hearing for Alvarado-Ramirez for April 14. A trial date has not yet been scheduled.
A GoFundMe, started by four family friends, raised $46,000 following the murder.
The money raised is going to Galindo’s mother, who has assumed the role of guardian of Galindo’s two children, who are in “desperate need of help during this trying time.” The money also went towards funeral expenses.
“For anyone who did not know Mez, she was a kind spirit who helped others whether they were a friend or a stranger and no matter how long they had been in her life. It was never an inconvenience for her to help anyone in need,” the GoFundMe said.
“She was a devoted mother who only wanted to be the best for her kids and was actively trying to further herself and continue her education. Her loss has affected the lives of many, and we are all lost without her bright light,” the post added.
Navarro did not release the circumstances leading up to the murder but did say detectives are classifying it as a domestic violence-related incident.