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Details on murder suspect emerge

Updated: March 24, 2014 6:36AM

Two knives, empty prescription bottles and notebooks containing prayers, song lyrics and sketches were taken from the home of Aurora murder suspect Amy Zuniga following the stabbing death of her cousin in October 2013.

These details were documented in recently released Kane County Court records following the execution of a search warrant on Zuniga’s home.

Zuniga, 45, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing Reynaldo 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.

Though the search warrant was executed on the day of the incident on Oct. 4, the details of what officers took from the home were not made available until earlier this month.

The notebooks, which might hold clues to Zuniga’s state of mind before the alleged murder, are now in the custody of Aurora police.

Police said Zuniga made strange statements to officers when they arrived at her home in the 800 block of Front Street around 1:34 a.m. and found Galvan with a knife plunged in his chest. That knife was also taken into evidence.

During their time at the home, officers said Zuniga admitted to stabbing her cousin and husband, and 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.

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.”

Besides the prayer- and sketch-filled notebooks, police also seized cell phones, a serrated steak knife from the kitchen, bloody swabs, and 15 prescription medication bottles from Zuniga’s home.

According to police, nearly a dozen of the bottles had contained the drug methylphenidate, a generic form of Ritalin. 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 the scene that morning.

Based on her statements, and the possibly missing medication, detectives requested that a search warrant also 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,” the search warrant affidavit said.

Zuniga has been ordered to 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. She is due back in court next month.

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