Missing man's remains found

Chicago Sun-Times,  Mar 11, 2004  by Frank Main

Police believe they have found the remains of a Northwest Side businessman kidnapped last month -- and say he was apparently dismembered with a chain saw several days after he was suffocated.

Jesus Colon, 44, the owner of two Chicago cell phone stores on Fullerton, was abducted Feb. 21 as he was traveling between stores.

Suspects in police custody led investigators to a garage near Bryn Mawr and Kedzie on the Northwest Side. Remains were found in the garage and a burned-out van, police said.

DNA extracted from the remains will be compared with DNA samples taken from members of Colon's family Wednesday, police said.

Police said they are seeking murder charges against several suspects. The motive for the kidnapping and killing was unclear.

Investigators suspect Colon was killed shortly after police arrested Francis Bell, who allegedly showed up at the CTA subway station near Logan and Milwaukee on Feb. 22 to collect ransom money that Colon's family members hoped would lead to his release.

Police believe Colon was suffocated and his body was dismembered about four days later.

"I think they planned to kill him from the get-go," a law enforcement source said.

Police believe Colon's body was chain-sawed and his teeth were pulled out with pliers. Wrapped body parts were allegedly discarded in trash containers across the city but they have not been recovered, police said.

Police would not identify whom they hope to charge with murder in the case. But several men, including Bell, are behind bars in connection with the kidnapping.

Two other men and a 15-year-old also have been arrested. Simitrio Sanchez, 21, of the 5200 block of West Parker, and Pablo Morales, 27, of Kildare, have been charged with aggravated kidnapping, robbery and criminal damage to property. The unidentified juvenile was cited for aggravated battery and criminal damage to property.

The teen was accused of throwing a rock through one of Colon's store windows to lure him to the store. Sanchez and Morales were lookouts for the kidnappers, prosecutors said.

Bell was charged with possession of about one kilogram of cocaine, which police allegedly found in a hotel room where he was staying.

Sanchez and Morales, members of the Spanish Cobras gang, allegedly told investigators they conspired with two fellow gang members to kidnap Colon.

Lawrence Ligas, chairman of Logan Square Concerned Citizens, said he views the kidnapping as an extension of a gang problem along Fullerton that he has been trying to get police to eradicate. There have been four killings in the area in the last year, Ligas said.

"The Spanish Cobras and the Imperial Gangsters are having a turf war," Ligas said. "This is what happens when gangs gain a foothold."

Colon's family declined to comment Wednesday evening.