'Killer left head on bed as present'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 December, 2013, 5:21am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 December, 2013, 5:21am


An 18-year-old man who had been asked to move out of the Chicago apartment he shared with his aunt and her boyfriend killed the older man with a hammer, then cut off the man's head, ears and nose and left them on his aunt's bed "as a present", prosecutors said.

Police arrested a blood-covered Alex Valdez after he became exhausted while dismembering Silvestre Diaz-Hernandez, 41, and made an emergency call to report a dead body in their basement apartment, Cook county assistant prosecutor Kingsley Sawyers said on Friday during a bond hearing.

When the emergency dispatcher asked Valdez if he had performed CPR, the teen laughed and said the dead man had been decapitated, Sawyers said.

On Christmas Eve, Valdez was home drinking while his aunt and Diaz-Hernandez were out. Soon after Diaz-Hernandez came home, Valdez attacked him with a hammer.

Diaz-Hernandez fell to the floor and Valdez struck him seven to 10 more times, Sawyers said. Valdez then covered the windows, played loud music and began cutting apart the man's body, the prosecutor said.

Valdez then put the head, ears and nose on his aunt's bed "as he 'wanted to leave his aunt a present'", Sawyers said.

Police who arrived at the home after the emergency call from Valdez on Christmas Day found him sitting in the front yard with an iPad in his hands, according to an arrest report.

One officer asked: "What's going on?" Valdez replied: "Shouldn't you arrest me before you ask me questions?"

The officer then asked why he should arrest Valdez. "Because I just killed a man and he's in the basement," Valdez said, before slamming the iPad to the ground, according to police.