Adam Ruiz, 23, was sentenced Thursday, May 18, 2017, to natural life in prison in the 2014 killing of his sister and her girlfriend on the Northwest Side. (Cook County sheriff’s photo)
A man who killed his sister and her girlfriend in 2014, then tried to cover up the murder by lighting their apartment on fire, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole, according to court records.
Adam Ruiz had been found guilty of murder in March in the killings of Samantha Welch, his half sister, and her girlfriend Celia Reyes, according to court records. The two were found dead in a Belmont Gardens neighborhood apartment Ruiz had shared with them and his own girlfriend until the day before their 2014 killings, according to prosecutors and court records.
Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughn sentenced Ruiz on Thursday, according to court records.
Ruiz, who moved to Denver following the killings, had been sharing a basement apartment with Welch and Reyes, both 18, according to prosecutors and family members. During their time living at the apartment, Ruiz and his girlfriend often argued over money with Welch and Reyes.
About 11 p.m. Oct. 16, 2014, Chicago firefighters were called to the three-flat in the 4500 block of West Parker Avenue and found the basement apartment on fire, according to prosecutors and police. The two women were found dead in the apartment following the fire.
Welch suffered extensive burns but had very little soot in her airway, indicating she was dead before the fire started, according to prosecutors. Her death was ruled a homicide by unspecified means by the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Reyes’ death was determined to be homicide by asphyxiation and strangulation.
After the killings, Ruiz admitted to several people that he had committed the crimes, prosecutors have said. Later, after he moved to Denver and eventually was arrested by Denver police, he admitted to killing Welch and Reyes, according to prosecutors.