A Downers Grove man who believed his pregnant wife had been unfaithful to him pleaded guilty today to her first-degree murder and the intentional homicide of his unborn son.

Eric Gilford, 32, a U.S. Navy recruiter, pleaded guilty after DuPage County prosecutors agreed not to seek more than 140 years in prison.

Gilford and Kristine Gilford, 35,  met online in January 2010 and were married in February 2010, said Assistant State’s Attorney David Bayer.
 
But the relationship was strained and by May 2010, Kristine Gilford moved into a Villa Park apartment, where Gilford tracked her down, Bayer said.

Police called to the apartment on May 26 found the victim, who before she died told authorities her husband had stabbed her, Bayer said.

Gilford also was identified by the victim’s 4-year-old daughter, who witnessed her mother’s death and was found in the apartment covered with her mother’s blood, according to Bayer.

Bayer said the cause of the attack was Gilford’s belief that the victim was pregnant with another man’s child.

DNA tests showed that wasn’t true, he said.

Several members of the victim’s family sobbed during today’s court hearing.
 
Kristine Gilford grew up in Arlington Heights and attended high school in Naperville. Eric Gilford grew up in Hoffman Estates.

A nationwide search for Gilford ended in August 2010 in a Jackson, Wyoming homeless shelter, where he was seeking assistance under an alias.

abarnum@tribune.com