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Man Linked to 2005 Killings of 2 Zion Girls Could Be Put to Death for Murdering a Marine

Zion native Jorge Torrez strangled a 20-year-old Marine and then went on a rape spree in Virginia.

Jorge Torrez
Jorge Torrez

A man suspected in the 2005 slayings of two Zion girls could be put to death in Virginia for strangling a fellow Marine in 2009.

Jorge Torrez, 25, a Zion, IL, native linked by DNA to the murders of 8-year-old Laura Hobbs and 9-year-old Krystal Tobias, who disappeared on Mother's Day, has left a trail of death and terror in his wake throughout his adult life.

On Monday, a federal jury decided Torrez, convicted earlier this month of first-degree murder in the 2009 death of 20-year-old Marine Amanda Jean Snell, is eligible for the death penalty, the Washington Post reported.

Prosecutors said Torrez is a sexual predator who browsed Internet sites about rape fantasies and randomly attacked the women in suburban Arlington, VA, after Snell’s death, the Post reported.

In the 2009 attack on Snell, prosecutors said Torrez attacked Snell at random, creeping into her room at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall and wrapping the young woman’s neck with the power cord of her pink laptop.

Torrez was convicted in October 2010 for the Arlington attacks. In one instance, he displayed a gun to a woman and tried to force her into a car. Failing, he stole her purse.

In another Arlington case, Torrez, brandishing a handgun, confronted two women and tied them up inside a residence. He forced one of the victims to leave the house with him. Four hours later, the victim was found seeking help and medical treatment.

In 2011, the Chicago Tribune interviewed Torrez from a prison cell and asked him about the Zion girls' murders and why the 8-year-old child had his semen on her body. Hobbs and Tobias, stabbed to death, were found together in a park.

"I'm not denying that (the DNA) is mine," he told the paper. "Once I tell them how my DNA got there, I'm walking."

Torrez was in prison serving five life sentences for rape and abduction in the Virginia cases. Once a corporal in the Marine Corps, Torrez now faces possible execution for taking the life of a fellow Marine.

Hobbs' father, Jerry Hobbs, spent five years in prison for the murders after breaking down during interrogation and confessing to the murders. His conviction was overturned after the DNA evidence was discovered linking Torrez to the crime.

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