Authorities located a prostitute in California who may have been hired for a sexual encounter with an Addison man the night he is accused of stabbing his mother and another prostitute to death, prosecutors disclosed in court Tuesday.
DNA collected at the scene where police found the bodies of 21-year-old Kristi Hoenig and 40-year-old Doris Pagliaro on Feb. 26, 2006, led authorities to the woman, who now resides in Vista, Calif., they said.
Prosecutors told DuPage County Judge John Kinsella they were working to secure the woman's presence in Illinois so she is available to testify in the double-murder trial of Pagliaro's son, Gary Schuning, 28. The trial was scheduled to begin this week, but Kinsella continued jury selection to May 11 upon disclosure of the last-minute witness.
"The record will show I am displeased," the judge said of the delay. "I know nobody wanted this to happen."
Authorities previously said they believed Schuning used his mother's credit card to pay $1,220 for a sexual encounter with two prostitutes after he tied up Pagliaro and slashed her throat following an argument inside their home on the 300 block of South Yale Street in Addison. They said Schuning repeatedly stabbed Hoenig, of Chicago, when she found a bloody kitchen knife and made a frantic call to her pimp.
Police responding to a 911 call from the pimp arrived moments later to find Hoenig's partially nude body on a bedroom floor with stab wounds to her chest, back, neck and head. They said they found Pagliaro in another bedroom with a knife protruding from her chest, and Schuning moaning from a self-inflicted stab wound.
According to prosecutors, the DNA of the California witness was recovered from several items at the scene, including used condoms, a bloody knife and the inside of Hoenig's underwear. Authorities, however, did not know the identity of the donor until a match turned up in a police database of DNA profiles.
Authorities said Schuning, who has pleaded not guilty, says he stabbed both women in self-defense. His attorney declined to comment outside of court Tuesday on the newly disclosed witness.
Records show the witness, identified in court as 30-year-old Samantha Eme, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in 2001 for holding up a Buffalo Grove restaurant employee with a BB gun. Eme, formerly of Chicago, also has a prior drug conviction in DuPage.