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Article updated: 4/23/2013 8:27 AM

More evidence obtained in slaying of West Aurora student

By Harry Hitzeman

Search warrants recently included in court records in the Jan. 31 murder of Abigail "Aby" Villalpando show that authorities have recovered more evidence against the three men charged in her death.

Some of the items include garbage bags with burned holes in them, a hammer, and bloody clothing, according to search warrants in Kane County court records.

Three men are charged in her death, in which police say the 18-year-old West Aurora High School student was hit repeatedly over the head with a hammer at a home on the 400 block of Jefferson Street on the city's east side, her body burned in a barrel and the charred remains later dumped in a wooded area near Montgomery.

It was the first homicide in Aurora since late 2011.

Villalpando, 18, was reported missing after she failed to show up Jan. 31 for her waitressing job near the Westfield Fox Valley Mall.

Juan Garnica, 19, of the 400 block of East Ashland Avenue, Aurora, is charged with first-degree murder and is being held on $5 million bail, which means he must post $500,000 to get out of jail while the case is pending. He is due in court on May 16.

Enrique Prado, 19, of the 400 block of Jefferson, Aurora, is charged with concealment of a homicide.

According to a search warrant released in mid-February, Prado told detectives that he, Garnica and Villalpando were hanging out at Prado's house on Jan. 31. Garnica asked Villapando to look at a dead turtle in an aquarium, and as she did, he hit her with a hammer seven times and rolled up her 4-feet, 10-inch, 105-pound body in a blanket, according to court records.

Subsequent search warrants released this month of items police seized from the house on the 400 block of Jefferson include: four gold-colored Christmas ornaments each containing reddish spots; a red/black hammer; two black garbage bags with melted area and holes in them; a 33-gallon plastic container with a hole in the bottom; a small T-shirt with a brownish/reddish stain; a gray tank top with a brownish/reddish stain; a pair of Air Jordan shoes with a reddish stain on the left toe; an "unknown mass"; several lighters; and a 6-foot-tall step ladder with brownish/reddish stains.

Police say Garnica and Prado stuffed Villalpando's body into a plastic storage bin and hid it in the garage rafters of Prado's home. Garnica and Prado later stole a barrel from a park and began burning her body when Villalpando's brother called the pair and said he suspected them in the murder, according to police and court records.

Police said the two feared authorities were coming, so they put the fire out, and enlisted the help of Juan Becerra, 20, of the 0-99 block of Setton Creek Drive, Oswego. Becerra had a pickup truck and they dumped the remains in a wooded area, police said.

Becerra is charged with concealment of a homicide and is due in court on Friday. Becerra and Prado also are being held at the Kane County jail, both on $100,000 bail.

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