Lacey Gaines Murder “Still Active; Investigation Continues”–Police
Lacey Gaines was murdered in her apartment on December 7, 2009 in Justice, Illinois. More than 2 years later, her killer has not been publicly identified nor have police indicated they are any closer to solving her case. That doesn’t mean nothing is being done. Lacey’s led a complicated life and either put herself into, or had no choice but to surround herself with people who think murder is just another way to settle a debt. Not all of her friends were like that. In fact she had quite a few allies including Cherry Simpson, Lacey’s aunt, who has tirelessly tried to find out who killed her niece. And she’s not alone. Several friends have spoken out on Lacey’s behalf. A social worker said Lacey had been physically abused by her boyfriend who also happens to be the father of their son Conor. Many friends said the same thing…she’d come to work upset and bruised. She said it was Daniel Rogelio Alvarado Sanchez who she desperately feared. Police say he is not a suspect. Then there’s her boyfriend at the time of her death, Juan Valadez who found her body in their apartment. He was with a woman at the time and had her call 911 because Juan spoke no English. And just like that, he disappeared.
Lacey lived in an apartment complex well-known for crime, free-flowing drugs and reports of apartment maintainance men peering through women’s windows. Just a really run down rat hole. Yet Lacey moved to this place from a home her parents bought for her in a much safer area. Safe with the exception that Sanchez also lived in the house and didn’t leave.
So, it’s February 2012. What do we know now? I asked the lead investigator Detective Sergeant Robert Plotke of the Justice Police Department. ” I keep in contact with the Gaines family, more so Gilda and Jeff for obvious reasons as they are the parents of Lacey. I recently had a four-hour meeting with Jeff and Gilda Gaines.” Some had said the police department didn’t want outside help such as reward money being posted or billboards raised. Not true according to Plotke. “I don’t know where you get your information from but I can assure you, any pertinent information, or help having to do with the Gaines case would be welcomed with open arms. When Lacey was murdered we were fortunate to be on a homicide task force and at that time we activated the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force. This gave us approximately 25-30 detectives
from all across the 5th district here, and we stayed activated for almost 7 full days. Unfortunately Lacey’s case is still unresolved. Justice, Il. Is a smaller town with the population of right around 13,000, and the Police Department has only 2 full-time detectives. Lacey’s case is still open and we continue to work different aspects of the case.”
As more information comes to light, I will update Lacey’s case.