Woman Killed By Estranged Husband Warned Of Potential Danger Before Shooting

| by Sean Kelly

A woman who was shot and killed in Portage, Illinois, by her estranged husband reportedly warned of potential danger leading up to the fatal shooting, according to reports.

Maria Contreras, who was shot in her home on Wednesday, reportedly wrote of her husband’s violent behavior in a handwritten note that helped convince a court to issue a restraining order last September.

“The thought of him losing complete control of our marriage could well cause him to act violently and irrationally,” she wrote of her husband, Miguel Contreras. Maria added that her husband “demanded complete control of everything” during their 22-year marriage.

“Recently, when I told him I was leaving, he told me I should kill myself rather than return home,” the letter read. 

Miguel is believed to have shot his wife around 4 p.m. at their home on Wednesday, before shooting himself. He initially survived his suicide attempt, but later died while in the hospital. The couple reportedly had a divorce hearing set for Sept. 29.

Police discovered the murder after they were called to the home following a report of a verbal disturbance. While en route to the home, officers got word that shots had been fired.

They arrived to find Maria’s body lying across the track of a glass door, half inside and half outside of the house. Miguel was found inside the home, injured but breathing. 

“I am very fearful that he will harm me when he is served with the divorce papers that I am filing with this protective order,” his estranged wife wrote in her letter to the court. “I ask that he be removed from the marital residence pending a provisional hearing in the divorce."

Maria was pronounced dead in her home at 4:39 p.m., with her death being ruled a homicide. 

Sources: NW Times (2), Chicago Tribune / Photo credit: