ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) — As a state police investigator JoAnn Armenta worked on some of the most high profile cases in Illinois history.

They included the murder of 10-year old Jeanine Nicarico in Naperville and the Tylenol poisoning murders that led to new safety seals on nearly everything we buy. She also worked on the rape case involving Gary Dotson who became the first to gain freedom after DNA evidence proved his innocence.

All that came after Armenta made history herself as the first Latina officer in Illinois State Police history.

“I don’t know if I was stubborn or stupid but I stuck it out. The more they said I couldn’t do it, the more I dug in,” said Armenta.

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