Police: Aurora murder suspect might have ingested ADHD meds

Updated 10/21/2013 10:58 PM
  • Amy L. Zuniga

    Amy L. Zuniga

A 44-year-old Aurora woman accused of stabbing and killing her cousin earlier this month might have been suffering from mental health issues caused by her grandchildren's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medication, a Kane County court document suggests.

Amy L. Zuniga, of the 800 block of Front Street, is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Reynaldo Galvan Oct. 4.

Aurora police obtained a search warrant Oct. 10 to get samples of Zuniga's blood and urine and for her home.

According to the warrant, Zuniga told two Aurora police officers who responded to her home at about 1:43 a.m. Oct. 4, "I just killed my cousin."

Police found Galvan, 68, in the basement lying on his back with a knife in his chest, according to the warrant. Zuniga also told an officer she was "Jesus Christ" and later, in the emergency room at the Presence Mercy Center, told a doctor, "Jehovah is coming. I have been telling them this for a while. No one believes me."

Police searched her home and found 12 bottles of methylphenidate, a drug prescribed to her grandchildren, ages 7 and 8, the warrant read.

Zuniga and her husband were named the legal guardians of the children in 2010. The drug is commonly prescribed to treat ADHD. A pharmacist told police possible side effects are "hallucinations, behavior changes, abnormal thoughts and panic attacks," according to the search warrant.

Eight of the 12 bottles were empty; a bottle for a month's worth of medicine with a prescription dated Sept. 14, 2013, was about one-quarter full.

"It is believed that based on the amount of days listed on when the medication was prescribed that there could be missing medication in some of the bottles, or that it could have been ingested by Amy," wrote Aurora police detective Darrell Moore in the warrant.

A message left with the Kane County public defender's office, which is representing Zuniga, was not immediately returned.

Zuniga was being held on $2 million bail and next due in court Tuesday. If convicted of first-degree murder, she faces between 20 and 60 years in prison with no possibility of early release.

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