Family, friends remember Burbank woman as hunt for husband continues
By Mike Nolan email@example.com May 19, 2012 1:20PM
Family members follow Estrella Carrera's casket out of St. Rita of Cascia Church on Chicago's South Side after her funeral service Saturday, May 19, 2012. Carrera, 26, was found stabbed to death May 12 in her Burbank, IL condo’s bathtub, her body still clad in the silver sequined cocktail dress she wore to celebrate her wedding. Her groom, Arnoldo Jimenez, 30, of Chicago, is wanted for her murder. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:28PM
As police Saturday continued to search for the man accused of stabbing to death Burbank newlywed Estrella Carrera, more than 200 family members and friends said their final goodbyes to the mother of two.
Some of the mourners at St. Rita of Cascia Church, 6243 S. Fairfield Ave., Chicago, wore black T-shirts bearing a photo of Carerra and the words “In Loving Memory,” along with her birth and death dates.
Police asked, at the family’s request, that media not be allowed inside the church during the funeral Mass.
The 26-year-old Carrera was found stabbed to death May 13 in her Burbank condo’s bathtub. She was wearing a silver sequined cocktail dress she wore to celebrate her wedding.
Her groom, Arnoldo Jimenez, 30, of Chicago, is wanted for her murder.
Authorities believe he fled Illinois for a Texas town near the Mexican border to avoid prosecution for first-degree murder, according to an FBI warrant. Authorities said Jimenez’ parents live in Mexico.
At Carrera’s wake on Friday, her uncle, Pedro Terazas, remembered her as a little girl.
“She was real friendly to everyone,” Terazas said of Estrella Carerra. “It’s terrible, this situation right now. All the family is destroyed.”
Carrera was the mother of a 2-year-old son, who Jimenez fathered, and she has an 8-year-old daughter.
Eileen Puchalski, who teaches Carrera’s daughter at Lee Elementary School on Chicago’s Southwest Side, described Carrera as a caring parent who was very involved in her daughter’s education. She said the girl is a straight-A student.
Puchalski said that when she saw the girl inside the funeral home, she gave her a big hug and a magazine featuring Justin Bieber.
“She’s a well-rounded, beautiful little girl, and my heart breaks for her,” Puchalski said.
Altrisha Sitko, 30, of Chicago’s West Lawn community, knew Carrera from seeing her at school events. Their daughters are in the same class.
“It’s really sad what happened to her,” she said. “I wish the best for her daughter and her family.”
Sitko claimed she spoke with Carrera on May 9 — two days before she wed Jimenez — and Carrera expressed reservations about marrying him.
“She was saying the reason she was getting married is that he was going to take her kids from her,” Sitko said. “She was really scared, and that was the last time I talked to her.”
A vehicle in the funeral procession Saturday was involved in a traffic crash on its way to an Evergreen Park cemetery where Carrera was buried. There were no serious injuries, and the accident occurred when another driver tried to cut in front of the funeral procession.
The crash occurred just before 11 a.m. outside Kraft Foods’ Nabisco bakery at 7300 S. Kedzie Ave., Chicago.
Contributing: Casey Toner