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Kansas man says his identity was stolen by man accused of shooting ISP trooper, killing Chicago teacher

Kansas man says his identity was stolen by man linked to numerous violent crimes
Kansas man says his identity was stolen by man linked to numerous violent crimes 05:27

CHICAGO (CBS) -- You've heard the name Cristobal Santana – it is now tied to two brutal crimes spanning the state.

But as CBS 2's Marissa Perlman reported Monday night, one man said he is the real Cristobal Santana who had has identity stolen. He said he has been haunted by the suspect who has been using his name for years.

Dramatic dashcam video captured a frightening, cold-blooded, and successful attempt to shoot an Illinois State Police trooper last month in Springfield. Sources said police had been looking for two days for the man who shot Trooper Dakotah Chapman-Green on the night of Tuesday, Oct. 24.

They said the man was the prime suspect in the killing of his ex-girlfriend, 37-year-old Adrianna Lopez, a special education teacher in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood on the city's Southwest Side.

Police said the man who went on the days-long violent crime spree in question was Cristobal Santana.

Using that name, we dug deep into Santana's background. We found a twisted trail of conflicting records that made us question who Cristobal Santana really is.

But then we found a Cook County court filing with two names on it. We discovered Cristobal Santana, the accused shooter, legally changed his name.

His real name is Darrell Rice II, from Evanston. But he changed it in 2019 – becoming Cristobal Santana.

As we continued digging through the records, the trail took us more than 700 miles away to Derby, Kansas – where we found the real Cristobal Santana.

The original Cristobal Santana. CBS 2

"I've had my name my entire life," he said.

But the original Cristobal Santana said his name was taken – by Darrell Rice, who is accused of shooting the trooper. The car involved in that incident is now tied to both men.

"So the car that was actually used in the shooting is one of the cars that I was getting phone calls about," Santana said.

Before that, he spent three years fending off fake loans and bad debts after his identity was taken.

"There was a hard inquiry - I think it was like six, eight months ago - for a business loan – a half-million-dollar business loan that someone tried to take out using my Social Security number," Santana said, "That was shot down immediately, because I got a phone call about it."

There were more calls after that about a Milwaukee property that Santana did not know anything about – and letters demanding money for cars he didn't own.

"I get a lot, a lot of phone calls, and it's very frustrating," Santana said, "constantly having to deal and explain these situations over and over and over again."

What he didn't know about all the people calling for Cristobal Santana was that they were actually looking for Darrell Rice.

"I have no idea who Darrell Rice is," Santana said.

Darrell Rice II, who has been using the name Cristobal Santana. Sangamon County Sheriff's Department

And Santana didn't know who Rice was until we told him. Santana was shocked to learn Rice took on his name.

There is also something else we uncovered that Santana did not know until we told him. The court name-change record shows Rice's birth date matched Santana's – the same month, day, and year.

"If we did, in fact, have the same birthday, then it certainly could be a reason why he would have picked would have picked my name," Santana said.

With Santana's name and date of birth tied to the car involved, he was also tied to the shooting of the Illinois State Police trooper.

"My entire life could have been flipped upside down by that," said Santana.

He thinks about what had happened – had the other man identified as Cristobal Santana, but whose name was Darrell Rice, not been arrested.

"How would I explain that to you know, my wife?" Santana said. "How would I explain it to people I work with - why I'm sitting in a jail cell right now with a murder-one charge?"

How Rice was able to find Santana as a match, only he knows. But we may have uncovered what motivated him.

We found federal court records, which show Rice filed for bankruptcy in 2017. The petition is 63 pages long – and lists debt to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It is the kind of mess that likely would have kept Rice from buying cars, or getting loans.

"I kind of wish that maybe the way that this system works could somehow be reformed, so it's not so easy to just assume someone else's identity," said Santana.

So who is this real Cristobal Santana? He is a 38-year-old married father of two boys. He served in the military for 20 years. He loves his dogs.

And he says though he may have to deal with a trail left for him by a criminal who assumed his name, he is not the real victim.

"I'm frustrated. OK, I'm frustrated. I might spend the next year or two trying to clean up whatever this mess is, right?" Santana said. "But it's not going to be anything like what's going to go on with those with those two individuals."

Santana said Trooper Chapman-Green – who is in recovery for broken bones and a brain bleed – has lost a lot more.

"I feel really bad for that state trooper," Santana said.

And then there is the brutal loss of Adrianna Lopez – her community is now without a beloved teacher, a friend, a daughter.

I feel really bad for that schoolteacher," Santana said. "I feel bad for her family – the void that they're going to feel from their lost loved one."

Darrell Rice II has not been formally charged with Lopez's murder as Chicago Police continue their investigation.

We have reached out to the attorney for the man born Darrell Rice II who now uses the name Cristobal Santana, and  have not heard back.

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