Round Lake Resident Charged with Murder After Shooting Victim Found in DuPage County Forest Preserve

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Francisco Maldonado, murder suspect (DuPage County State's Attorney's Office)
Francisco Maldonado, murder suspect (DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office).

WHEATON – DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and the DuPage Forest Preserve District Police Chief Dave Pederson announced today, Saturday, April 9, 2022 that bond has been set for a Round Lake Beach resident accused of First Degree Murder. Francisco Maldonado, 31 of the block of 500 Golfview Drive, appeared in Bond Court Saturday morning where Judge Susan Alvarado set his bond at $1 Million with 10% to apply.

On Thursday, March 3, 2022 at approximately 11:48 a.m., the DuPage Forest Preserve District Police responded to a location on Munger Road approximately thirty feet from the roadway, for the report of an unresponsive male. Upon arrival, officers found the victim, Francisco Zavala, deceased for a considerable period of time, and the apparent victim of multiple gunshot wounds.

An investigation into the murder found that on February 7, 2022, Zavala was reported missing. Allegedly in the late evening hours of January 29, 2022, Zavala and Maldonado and a third individual traveled together to the location on Munger Road, and that the three men exited the vehicle. Allegedly, Maldonado and the third individual then shot Zavala multiple times before leaving the scene. The investigation led to Maldonado as a suspect, and he was taken into custody Friday, April 8, 2022.

“To the family and friends of Francisco Zavala, I offer my condolences on their tragic loss. I thank the DuPage Forest Preserve District Police Department and DuPage County MERIT for their outstanding work which led to the filing of First Degree Murder charges against Mr. Maldonado. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorney Nicole Wilkes-English for her efforts in preparing a strong case against this defendant.”

— DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin

“It is my hope that knowing charges have been filed against the individual accused of murdering Francisco Zavala will provide some peace of mind to Mr. Zavala’s family. I thank DuPage County MERIT and our officers for their hard work on this case. I also thank State’s Attorney Berlin and his office for their legal guidance throughout the investigation.”

— DuPage Forest Preserve District Police Chief Dave Pederson

Maldonado’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 2, 2022 for arraignment in front of Judge Margaret O’Connell.

The investigation into the murder is ongoing.

“Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

— DuPage County States’s Attorney’s Office



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