$1 Million Bond Set For Man Who Fled After Being Charged In 2000

By T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times

July 9, 2022

WHEATON — Bond has been set for a former Bensenville man who fled after being charged in 2000 with Concealment of a Homicidal Death.

Romulo Mendoza, 46, appeared in court this morning where Judge Ann Celine O’Hallaren Walsh set a $1 Million bond.

According to prosecutors, on February 4, 2000, Mendoza and his two roommates, Carmelino Gomez and Pedro Garcia, were arguing at the residence they cohabited in Bensenville when the verbal argument turned physical.  During the altercation, Gomez grabbed Garcia from behind, placing his arm around Garcia’s neck causing his death.

Allegedly, Gomez and Mendoza shoved Garcia’s body into a car and drove to County Line Road in Elmhurst near Lake Street Frontage Road where they dumped Garcia’s body into the gutter. Garcia’s body was later discovered by a passerby.  A police investigation eventually led to charges of Involuntary Manslaughter and Concealment of a Homicidal Death, both Class 3 Felonies, against Gomez and Concealment of a Homicidal Death charges against Mendoza.

In September 2000, Gomez entered a plea of guilty to one count of Involuntary Manslaughter and was handed five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.  Mendoza, after posting bond on May 31, 2000, failed to appear in court at which time a “no-bond” arrest warrant was issued.  In June 2022, Mendoza was arrested attempting to re-enter the country at the southern border of the United States and extradited to Illinois.

“Twenty-two years ago, Romulo Mendoza failed to appear in court on charges he concealed a homicidal death in DuPage County. The apprehension of this defendant sends the message that law enforcement in DuPage County will never give up on a case, regardless of how much time may have passed. I thank the Elmhurst Police Department for their continued efforts on this case as well as Assistant State’s Attorney Cathy Nusgart, who was originally assigned to this case twenty-two years ago, for her efforts throughout the years in preparing a strong case against Mr. Mendoza.” said DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin in a press release.

Mendoza is scheduled to appear in court on August 18, 2022.