State

Palatine man pleads not guilty in Wisconsin death

RACINE, Wis. – An Illinois man charged with killing a teenage runaway in 1997 and leaving her body in a Wisconsin marsh has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges.

James P. Eaton is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. Online court records say he pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Messages left with his two public defenders were not immediately returned.

The 36-year-old from Palatine was arrested in Chicago this month. He’s accused of killing Amber Creek, a 14-year-old also from Palatine. Her battered body was found in a Racine County marsh.

Police were unable to develop a suspect for years. They say a federal DNA database connected Eaton to the crime in February, and that investigators confirmed by tailing him and recovering DNA from a cigarette he discarded.

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