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Man charged with murder in beating, burning of Aurora woman, 18

Juan GarnicJr.  |  AurorPolice photo

Juan Garnica Jr. | Aurora Police photo

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Updated: February 3, 2013 10:32PM

An Aurora man was charged with first-degree murder in the death of an 18-year-old Aurora woman whose body was found burned beyond recognition Saturday morning in Montgomery, Aurora Police said Sunday.

Two other Aurora men have been charged with concealing the murder, police said.

Juan Garnica Jr., 18, of the 400 block of East Ashland, was charged Sunday evening with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson in the death of Abigail Villalpando, 18, of the 1900 block of Lilac Lane, police said.

Enrique Prado, 19, of the 400 block of Jefferson Street, Aurora, was charged with arson and concealment of a homicide, and Jose Becerra, 20, of the first block of Seaton Creek Drive, Oswego, was charged with one count of concealment of a homicide, according to Aurora Police.

Police said that Villalpando’s body was found about 9 a.m. Saturday by a Kane County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit in a wooded area near Fifth Street and Waubansia Avenue, in Montgomery.

On Sunday morning, the Kane County Coroner’s Office used dental records to confirm that the victim was Villalpando.

Villalpando was last seen by a family member about 1 p.m. Thursday when she left her home to go to her job at a Denny’s Restaurant. An employee called her family because she hadn’t reported to work.

Villalpando’s family reported that she was missing about 2:30 a.m. Friday.

About 10:40 a.m. Friday, Villalpando’s empty car, a 2003 Nissan Altima, was found fully engulfed in flames under the High Street Bridge over the Burlington Northern Railroad tracks on Aurora’s near East Side.

Shortly after Villalpando left her home on Thursday, she went to visit Garnica and Prado at Prado’s home, which is a couple of blocks from where her car was found, police said.

According to police, sometime during that meeting, Garnica allegedly hit Villalpando several times in the head with a hammer after Prado left the room. Garnica allegedly put Villalpando’s body into a container and hid the body in Prado’s garage, police said. Sometime Thursday night, Garnica drove Villalpando’s car to the area where it was later found on fire, police said.

Garnica then allegedly burned Villalpando’s body in a barrel in the backyard and enlisted Becerra’s help in dumping the body, police said.

About 3 p.m. Friday, Garnica and Prado went to the police department for questioning and were taken into custody. Becerra was taken into custody Saturday afternoon at his home, police said.

All three men were scheduled for Monday morning video bond calls in front of a Kane County Judge.

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