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Two men charged with concealing Villalpando homicide out on bond

Abigail Villalpando 18  graduate West AurorHigh School was found  murdered Sunday Feb. 3 2013. | 
Submitted photo

Abigail Villalpando, 18, a graduate of West Aurora High School, was found murdered on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013. | Submitted photo

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Updated: December 5, 2013 9:50AM

Two men charged with helping dispose of and conceal the body of 18-year-old Abigail Villalpando following her January murder are out on bond, after spending nearly a year in jail.

A Kane County judge granted bond reduction motions for both Enrique Prado and Jose Becerra late last month.

A third man, Juan Garnica, 19, 400 block of Ashland Avenue, Aurora, remains in custody on $5 million bail. He has been charged with beating the West Aurora High School senior in the head with a hammer on on Jan. 31, then burning and disposing of her body.

Prado and Becerra were charged with lesser crimes in connection with Villalpando’s death.

Prado, 20, 300 block of South Avenue, Aurora, is charged with arson and concealment of a homicide on allegations that he helped Garnica burn Villalpando’s body and set her car on fire after she she was beaten to death. His bond was reduced from $100,000 to $10,000 on Nov. 20.

Prado’s brother posted $1,000 that day, and Prado was released from custody.

Becerra, 21, 0-99 block of Seaton Creek Drive, Oswego, has been charged with concealment of a death, and concealment of a homicide for allegedly helping Prado and Garnica dispose of Villalpando’s body in a field in Montgomery. His bond, previously set at $100,000, was reduced to $3,500 by a judge on Nov. 13.

Becerra’s mother posted $350, and he was released from custody.

Both men were given the same conditions of their bond, which include not possessing any firearms, obeying all court orders, not leaving the state and having no contact with witnesses/witness family members, according to court records.

Villalpando was reported missing on Jan. 31 after she didn’t show up for work at the Denny’s restaurant near Fox Valley mall on the city’s far East Side. She left her apartment dressed for work around 2 p.m. that day, her brother Ricky Villalpando said, but never arrived for her shift.

Ricky said it was unlike his sister to not show up for her shift, or call. He immediately went to police with his concerns, and launched a search for his sister.

According to court records, before Villalpando was to head to work, she stopped by Prado’s girlfriend’s Jefferson Street home to hang out with Garnica and Prado. She had known the boys since middle school, Ricky Villalpando said. The three teens were close friends.

During an investigation, Prado told police that the three smoked marijuana on a couch before Garnica struck Villalpando in the head several times with a hammer-like tool. Her body was put into a container, and eventually in a stolen metal garbage can where it was burned, police said.

The men then emptied the barrel into a plastic storage container and called Becerra, who had a pickup truck, to transport the container, officials said. The three men then drove to the area of Fifth Street and Waubansia Avenue in Montgomery, where they emptied the container in a field about 200 feet from the intersection. Villalpando’s car was found torched near the High Street bridge.

A police dog later found Villalpando’s burned remains in a marshy area with tall grass close to a frozen pond, according to a search warrant affidavit.

“I am in shock,” Ricky Villalpando said after hearing the news that both Prado and Becerra had been released from custody. “They can go whereever they want, while my sister’s corpse is decaying under ground. It is awful.

“They will get to spend Christmas with their families, and I will never see Aby again.”

Garnica’s next court appearance is Dec. 20. Becerra has a pre-trail hearing on Dec. 4. Prado will not be up for an appearance until Feb. 13, according to court records.

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