Alleged abductor formally charged in Champaign County

Alleged abductor formally charged in Champaign County

URBANA — A Houston man allegedly involved in the abduction of his ex-girlfriend from Market Place Mall earlier this month appeared in Champaign County Circuit Court Tuesday.

Eduardo Guerrero Cortez, 25, was returned to Urbana Monday night to face a charge of aggravated battery for allegedly using a knife to threaten a man who was with Monica Ramirez, 19, of Urbana, at the mall on the afternoon of June 11.

Cortez is due back in court in Urbana Aug. 5 and continues to be held in lieu of $1 million bond. Judge John Kennedy appointed the public defender's office to represent him. Through a translator, Cortez said he's employed doing landscaping and construction work.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said the police investigation is incomplete so it's possible more charges could be filed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation helped Champaign Police find Cortez.

According to Champaign police, Cortez and two other men allegedly forced Ramirez into a pickup truck and left, prompting Champaign police to publicize the abduction.

Cortez was found in Houston early on June 14 and arrested on the aggravated battery warrant that Judge Tom Difanis had issued the day after the alleged threat. Ramirez was found unharmed in that city.

The morning that Ramirez was taken from the mall, she had been in court in Urbana seeking an order of protection against Cortez, which Judge Holly Clemons granted.

In the petition seeking protection, Ramirez said that on June 1, she, her 2-year-old daughter, and her boyfriend moved from Houston to Champaign "to get away from Eduardo."

She said she had moved there with Cortez seven months earlier but that his "jealousy and controlling behavior became extreme" and led to many arguments between them.

Some time in the latter part of May, she was walking down the hall of her apartment complex in Texas carrying her daughter when Cortez stopped her before she got to her door.

"I don't want you to be with anyone else. If you aren't mine you aren't going to be anyone's," she recounted him saying to her. She replied by saying he should just let her go and not be violent.

"He got frustrated and head-butted me; my daughter was crying and I had a huge bump on my head. I felt very dizzy," she wrote.

With the help of her mother, she left Texas without telling Cortez.

"I have blocked him from phone (sic) because he kept sending me messages that said he would never let me be happy with someone and that he would be my worst nightmare," she wrote.

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