New details emerge on Aurora stabbing death
By Erika Wurst firstname.lastname@example.org October 17, 2013 2:16PM
Updated: November 19, 2013 6:31AM
An Aurora woman, accused of murdering her cousin and stabbing her husband, may have been hallucinating when the attack occurred, police said in recently released court documents filed to obtain the woman’s blood and urine samples.
In a search warrant affidavit filed by Aurora Police Det. Darrell Moore, Moore outlined strange statements Amy Zuniga made to officers after they found Reynaldo Galvan dead on Oct. 4 in the family’s Front Street home. Galvan was lying in a pool of blood with a knife plunged in his chest, court records show.
Officers filed the affidavit to obtain a search warrant for Zuniga’s blood and urine after they found approximately 12 empty bottles of methylphenidate, a generic form of Ritalin, during a search of Zuniga’s home. Moore said the medication, prescribed to Zuniga’s two young grandchildren, could have possibly been ingested by the woman prior to the alleged attack. Methylphenidate is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Side effects of the medication, which is a stimulant, include hallucinations, behavior changes, abnormal thoughts and panic attacks, according to detectives. This may have accounted for statements Zuniga made to officers when they arrived on scene that morning, Moore said.
Zuniga, 44, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing Galvan, 68, to death. She also faces one count of attempted murder for allegedly injuring her husband, Jose Zuniga, 40, with a knife during a similar attack that morning.
Police were called to the home in the 800 block of Front Street around 1:34 a.m. to assist paramedics with Amy Zuniga, who was conscious and breathing, but not feeling well. Zuniga was allegedly threatening harm to herself with a knife, the affidavit showed.
While they arrived on the scene, Zuniga allegedly told police she had killed her cousin, Moore said. Police officers were directed to the basement where they found Galvan. He was pronounced dead at 2:14 a.m.
During their time at the home, officers said Zuniga was making strange statements. She told one officer that she was Jesus Christ, and was taken to a local hospital to undergo a psychological exam and be treated for injuries.
While in the emergency room, police said a doctor asked Zuniga what had happened at the home. Police said Zuniga told the doctor that “Jehovah is coming. I have been telling them this for a while. No one believes me.”
Based on these statements, and the possibly missing medication, Moore requested that a search warrant be issued to seize blood and urine collected by hospital staff.
“It is believed that blood and urine tests may reveal drugs being present, which would provide evidence of this crime and of Amy’s mental state at the time of the crime,” Moore wrote.
The warrant, which was issued and executed on Oct. 4 was impounded by the Clerk until this week.
A Kane County judge has ordered that Zuniga undergo a fitness evaluation. Anytime anyone raises doubt as to the ability of a defendant to stand trial, a fitness evaluation can be ordered, court officials said.