RACINE — A northern Illinois man accused of killing a teenage runaway and leaving her body in a Town of Burlington marsh won’t go on trial Nov. 2 because defense lawyers need more time to hire a bite mark DNA expert.
James P. Eaton, 38, of Palatine, is accused of killing Amber Creek, 14, of Palatine, in February 1997 and leaving her beaten and sexually assaulted body in Karcher Wildlife Area. A human bite mark was on her neck.
Eaton’s defense attorneys asked during a hearing Thursday to delay his trial so they may hire this expert. Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete said “we actually went to the medical examiner to ask them to pull things from 10 years ago.”
Circuit Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz reset Eaton’s trial for June 6. Eaton remains in the Racine County Jail.
He is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. Amber died from asphyxiation after allegedly being choked and suffocated with the plastic bag, according to Eaton’s criminal complaint. She suffered blunt-force facial trauma and “pattern cutting injuries” on her face, the complaint states.
Amber last was seen alive Feb. 1 or Feb. 2, 1997, when leaving a party at a Rolling Meadows, Ill., hotel with an unidentified man, investigators said.