Woman found buried in Glen Ellyn stabbed 34 times
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A woman found buried in a shallow grave over the weekend in Glen Ellyn had been stabbed dozens of times, a law enforcement source said Monday.
One man was being questioned in connection with the death of 33-year-old Linda Valez, authorities said, although no charges have been filed. Glen Ellyn police found the victim buried in a clearing Saturday at Panfish Park, 620 Wilson Ave., while investigating a missing-person report.
The law enforcement source said the suspect was known to Valez.
Investigators obtained video footage of the pair leaving a fast-food restaurant last week shortly before the victim was reported missing in Wheaton, according to the source. Afterward, the suspect was seen at Panfish Park, the source said, and he has acknowledged to investigators he was in that area.
Glen Ellyn police found the burial site in a clearing while patrolling parks and wooded areas in the village. An officer noticed the location because it appeared suspicious and showed signs of foot traffic and other activity. Police said Valez showed "obvious signs of trauma" when her body was discovered later in the day.
An autopsy has since determined she was stabbed about 34 times, the law enforcement source said.
DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin said Wheaton police, the DuPage sheriff's office and the Major Crimes Task Force are assisting Glen Ellyn police and his office in the investigation. He declined to comment further.
Police said there's no reason to believe the public is in danger.
"It is not believed that this was a random attack," Glen Ellyn Deputy Chief Bill Holmer said in a news release.
Court records show Valez — a mother of at least three children, ages 10 to 13 — had a lengthy arrest record and had filed in July to divorce her husband of 11 years, who is serving a five-year prison term for heroin delivery.
Valez's most recent listed address was the DuPage PADS homeless shelter in Wheaton. Carol Simler, executive director of the organization, said Valez was trying to better her life by using the shelter's support services and counseling. She said Valez recently obtained a job.
"She was a client of ours and she used our overnight sites occasionally. But most recently, she was utilizing our support services and counseling at the client service center," Simler said. "We did assist her with her new job uniform expenses and travel to her job site as well."
She declined to say what the victim's new job was.
"We are all thinking of her and her family, and we have them in our prayers," Simler said.
• Daily Herald Staff Writer Robert Sanchez contributed to this report.
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