ROCKFORD (July 27) — A relative of the Filipino couple murdered in this Chicago’s outlying suburb of Rockford, Illinois felt so bad that she only left a message on the home phone of the couple and did not call them on their cell phone.
The guilt-stricken relative, who only identified herself as “Aurora,” said in a video interview with this reporter that if she were able to talk to the couple, Reynato “Rey” V. Cardino, 77, and Leticia “Letie” V. Cardino, 75, she might have invited them over in her house and it would have prevented their gruesome deaths.
Aurora said she was so close to the Cardinos that the week before the murders on July 8, they were together “grilling.”
On the day of the murders, the couple called her early in the day, and left a message, saying “Day, as soon as you get home from work, call us.”
She said when she returned the couple’s call between 5 and 6 p.m. of Wednesday, July 8, nobody answered so she just left a voice mail message.
But she now regretted not calling them on their cell phone which she always did before.
“I don’t know why I did not call them on their cell phone. Maybe if I was able to talk to them, it might have changed the course of events. I could have invited them over in my house and maybe the intruder might not have encountered them in their home,” Aurora said.
She said at the time that she left a message in their voice mail, the couple were at JC Penny at the mall.
Aurora was one of those, who attended the candle light vigil last Wednesday, July 22, in front of the couple’s home at 2623 Pleasant View, Rockford. The vigil was spearheaded by the neighbors and the Greater Rockford Filipino Catholic Community represented by its vice president, Dr. Roselia B. de Rosales, who prayed for the souls of the victims although the victims were Protestants (Methodists).
After more than two weeks, there was still very few details that emerged from the investigation of the murders.
Reyle (pronounced “Reel”) Cardino, the eldest of the four children of the couple, who fought off the couple’s attacker, refused to answer questions from this reporter, saying, it was still too early for him to be objective to describe the murders.
And so with the Rockford police, which is still investigating the incident, according to Deputy Deputy Chief Greg Lindmark.
Reyle, whose wound in his face he sustained during the attack is still healing, was always checking on his parents when he chanced upon the intruder in the couple’s home on the night of July 8 and put up a fight with the intruder later identified as Ommarian T. Jones, who lives less than two blocks from his parents’ home.
Reyle needed hospital treatment but it was not known if Jones, who was charged with the First Degree Murders of the couple, had also sustained injuries. Police said the couple died of injuries from “blunt instrument.” Jones is being held without bond.
Jones’ mother, Helen F. Jones, was also charged with obstruction of justice. Helen was released last Monday, July 20, after posting $10,000 bond.
Reyle’s eldest daughter, Tatina, said she will badly miss her grandparents, who took her to the Philippines when she was five. “They died the horrible way,” she said fighting back tears.
Walter Pacula, the couple’s neighbor across the street, who called 9-1-1 after Reyle called for help, said he will sorely miss the loving couple, who would throw a block party on occasions and “serve us pig roast (lechon).”
Reynato V. Cardino, a retired mechanical engineer, and Leticia V. Cardino, a retired licensed architect, are both from Baliangao and Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental in Mindanao. (With contribution from Marlon L. Pecson)