In a chilling case that has gripped the community, a 43-year-old woman was found guilty last week for her role in the shocking death of a missing 20-year-old man. The jury’s swift verdict revealed the woman’s involvement in the murder and the grisly disposal of the victim’s body. The tragic incident unfolded in 2018, and it involves a chilling conspiracy that led to a young man’s execution-style killing and the abandonment of his body in a trash can near a vacant home.
On October 27, the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office announced that Candice Jones was convicted of first-degree murder and armed robbery in connection with the 2018 homicide of Michael Armendariz. Jones’ son, Ernest Collins, had previously been convicted of murder and armed robbery with a firearm for his role in the same case in September.
The tragic story began in January 2018 when Naperville Police received a missing person report concerning Michael Armendariz. The 20-year-old had last been seen four days earlier at approximately 9:30 p.m. in Naperville, Illinois. However, the investigation revealed a sinister plot involving Jones, Collins, and Collins’ girlfriend, Cassandra Green. They had devised a plan to rob Armendariz, using a firearm to execute their heinous crime.
On the fateful evening of January 14, 2018, Cassandra Green lured Armendariz via Snapchat message. He entered an SUV driven by Green, unaware of the impending danger. Collins was hidden in the back seat, armed with a firearm. He ruthlessly shot Armendariz in the head twice in an execution-style manner. Subsequently, Green and Collins transported the lifeless body to Candice Jones’ residence in Chicago, where they discarded it in a trash can.
The gruesome details continue as they left the garbage bin in Jones’ garage, later relocating it to a vacant residence next door. On January 15, 2018, Green and Collins, in a further display of criminality, stole Armendariz’s keys and burglarized his apartment.
Tragically, Armendariz’s body remained concealed until June 2018 when it was finally discovered. Collins and Green were apprehended on February 4, 2019, in Rockford, Illinois, while Jones was taken into custody two days later in Chicago.
Cassandra Green had previously pleaded guilty to armed robbery with a firearm on August 19. Jones now faces a sentence of up to 75 years in prison, while her son, Ernest Collins, could be sentenced to life behind bars.
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin commented on the verdict, recognizing the enduring pain caused by the diabolical plot. He expressed sympathy for Michael Armendariz’s family and friends, who have been left with an irreplaceable void in their lives, their beloved Michael remembered only through memory.
The case serves as a harrowing reminder of the depths of depravity some individuals can reach and the unwavering pursuit of justice by law enforcement agencies.