Jorge “George” Torrez, a Marine who’s being held at the Arlington County Detention Center on charges of abduction and rape, has been linked via DNA to a double homicide outside Chicago, his attorney confirmed to ARLnow.com today.
Attorney Denman Rucker said he was contacted by investigators but had no further information about how the DNA test was performed or whether the test was “legitimate.”
The crime that Torrez is being linked to occurred in 2005.
Laura Hobbs and Krystal Tobias, ages 8 and 9, were found repeatedly stabbed in a park in the lakeside city of Zion, Ill. Jerry Hobbs, Laura’s, confessed to the crime after a 20-hour interrogation, but later said the confession of coerced, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Prosecutors pressed the case against Hobbs despite the fact that his DNA did not match semen found on one of the girls’ body and clothing. He has been held in jail for five years. The DNA was matched to a new suspect last month, prosecutors told the Tribune.
Torrez’s sister, who lives in Zion, says investigators told her that evidence points to her brother. Sara Torrez says Jorge, 21, was friends with Tobias’ brother, but says she believes her brother is innocent.
So far, Torrez has not been charged in connection with the murders. Arlington County authorities have been alerted to the DNA link and are following the case.
In Illinois, meanwhile, a court hearing that may result in Hobbs’ release has been set for July 21.
The Zion murders achieved infamy in Chicago and received national media attention. In an 2005 interview with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News Channel, Lake County, Ill. prosecutor Michael Waller defended the prosecution of Hobbs even though there were inconsistencies with his confession.
“It’s not unusual to have a defendant give untruths in a statement where he admits his guilt. It’s something we deal with all the time,” he said.
Waller also explained why Sheila Hollabaugh, the mother of Laura Hobbs, maintained that her boyfriend was innocent.
“It’s not unusual for the girlfriend or the wife to stick with the defendant,” Waller said. “If that happens in this case, you know, I won’t be surprised.”