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Arnoldo Jimenez Accused Of Murdering New Wife Estrella Carrera, Found Stabbed In Wedding Dress

By MICHAEL TARM 05/15/12 10:44 PM ET AP

Arnoldo Jimenez Estrella Carrera
Arnoldo Jime

CHICAGO — The groom is being sought in the stabbing death of his young bride hours after their marriage – his new wife's body found in a bathtub in the silver sequin cocktail dress she wore at her wedding reception and possibly at the wedding itself, police said Tuesday.

The manhunt continued for 30-year-old Arnoldo Jimenez, who is wanted on a first-degree murder warrant in the slaying of Estrella Carrera, 26, shortly after they celebrated their marriage with friends, said police in the Chicago suburb of Burbank.

"It was a very brutal killing," Capt. Joseph Ford of the Burbank Police Department told The Associated Press later Tuesday. "We do our jobs every day, of course. But something like this really motivates you to work even harder."

It is possible that Carrera was also wed in the short, shimmering dress in which she was killed, Ford said.

After they were married Friday afternoon at Chicago's City Hall, the couple had dinner with friends at a restaurant, then headed to a nightclub in a party limousine. They were last seen at 4 a.m. Saturday, and Carrera's body was found in her Burbank apartment Sunday.

The 6-foot, 220-pound Jimenez was last known to be driving a 2006 black Maserati. Since the killing likely took place just hours after the couple went to her Burbank apartment, the suspect had a day to flee the metropolitan area or even the state, Ford said.

Carrera, the mother of a 2-year-old boy and a 9-year-old daughter, told nearly no one in advance about her plans to marry, inviting a few friends out Friday without saying what she was celebrating, her relatives said. Her body was found after family members became worried they had not heard from her and called police.

Some of those familiar with the couple said there had been incidents of violence during their two years dating, Ford said. But he added that authorities hadn't found any records indicating Carrera ever filed a complaint against Jimenez.

"And we have no indications the two were arguing at any time during the (Friday and early Saturday) celebration," Ford said.

Carrera's family and acquaintances were struggling to comprehend how such a tragedy could happen during what should have been among the happiest days of the couple's lives.

"You see this sort of thing in the movies. You never expect it to happen next door," one of her neighbors, David Raska, said before police named Jimenez as a suspect.

Carrera's cousins also were shocked.

"We never thought this would happen," said 27-year-old Jaime Lopez. "Reality still hasn't hit me."

Carerra called another cousin, Sandy Lopez, inviting her to the party but saying nothing about a wedding.

"She didn't want to tell me she had gotten married," she said. "She didn't tell anybody besides her father the day before." She told NBC 5 Chicago news that Carrera and her new husband had an on-again, off-again relationship.

The cousins, neither of whom could make it to the Friday party, said Carrera worked as a Spanish-language translator, and they described her as a fiercely independent woman who adored her kids.

"She was a beautiful mother, person, sister," Sandy Lopez said.

Relatives became concerned when Carrera didn't pick up her children on Saturday at her father's, who had been watching his grandchildren while his daughter was celebrating. Police found her body Sunday afternoon during a well-being check.

Another neighbor in Burbank, Jason Tokarczyk, said Carrera had lived in her apartment for the past several months and would greet him coming and going, but otherwise said little.

"She was quiet as a mouse," he said.

Neighbor Jim Olinger said he had seen Jimenez at his wife-to-be's apartment last week and that he "seemed like a really nice guy."

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Follow Michael Tarm at http://www.twitter.com/mtarm

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Filed by Hilary Tuttle  |