Did Domestic Violence Play a Role in Lacey Gaines’ Murder
Lacey Gaines was murdered on December 7, 2009 in her rundown apartment in Justice, Illinois. While speculation has run rampant about who did it, there are still no suspects. She did have a child with a boyfriend who she later told people physically beat her. Daniel Rogelio Sanchez, Lacey told friends, co-workers, family and social workers beat her frequently leaving her bruised and battered. Would someone already predisposed of violence take it up to the next level–to murder? Prisons are filled with men who’ve done just that. Does that mean Daniel was involved? Not necessarily. Let’s assume he wasn’t. Had there been no violence and they stayed together, it’s possible Lacey could be alive today. But that wasn’t the case. Far from it. As a result, she was constantly on the run, forced to make bad decisions and could have put her in contact with people of questionable character and possibly even her killer.
Kathleen Allen, a social worker who was trying to help Lacey, had this to say, ” In our first conversation she expressed that she was in fear for her safety as well as the well-being of her baby. She needed a shelter, a job, and a place to live. I made an assumption at the time that she was still living in another county. I tried to get her help in that county until I spoke with her a second time when I realized she was living with her grandmother in Kankakee County. I resided in that county and had volunteered for a non for profit for eight years assisting a large variety of needs and realized I had a lot of resources at my disposal. The next time we spoke she really opened up. She was a lost soul. Her fear was real and she really believed if she didn’t get away from her ex-boyfriend, her life could be in danger. I believe what Lacey was telling me to be true. She described the abuse and that it had been going on for some time. He had threatened her not to leave. I warned her to get into a shelter so he could not find her and that he was probably most dangerous at this point. She seemed willing and I told her to give me a little time. Our shelters need time to arrange details. In the third conversation Lacey was more determined than ever , she was going to do this. At this time though I picked up on something different. She was young and had a small baby and I think the pressure was getting to her. She alluded to the
fact that her grandmother was getting some flack for keeping her and the baby. She expressed the need to get somewhere and find a job and break away from the control . She was going to try that versus a shelter where she would have to hide and wait for a new start. I really should have been more persistent about her safety and the dangers. Shortly after that Lacey was murdered. Lacey believed if she didn’t get away she would come to great harm. One way or another she did.”
Did her life on the run lead to her death? Or was someone always close behind? Those 2 questions need to be answered.