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DNA Sample Sought In NIU Student’s Murder

William “Billy” P. Curl (Booking Photo), Antinette Keller (Inset)

William “Billy” P. Curl (Booking Photo), Antinette Keller (Inset)

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DEKALB, Ill. (CBS) - DNA evidence is at the center of a status hearing Tuesday, in the murder of Northern Illinois University student Antinette “Toni” Keller.

William Curl, 34, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in Keller’s Oct. 14 killing. He is being held on $5 million bond.

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Prosecutors are now seeking a DNA sample from Curl to compare with substances found on shoes that authorities suspect he may have worn when he allegedly killed the NIU freshman.

The motion said Curl described Keller’s slaying to police, then told investigators drops of her blood stained his clothing and shoes. But it offered no details about how the 18-year-old Keller was slain or what other information Curl provided to investigators when questioned about her death.

Curl told investigators he threw away the brown suede shoes following Keller’s Oct. 14 killing because her blood stained the footware, DeKalb County prosecutors disclosed in their request for a DNA sample from Curl.

“He threw those shoes away because they had drops of blood on them and the blood would not come out,” prosecutors wrote in their motion.

After Curl’s Oct. 29 arrest in Keller’s murder, investigators dug through a DeKalb County landfill for several days before unearthing several shoes that matched the description provided by Curl.

A DNA sample from Curl is needed “to assist in attempting to identify if any of the shoes” belong to him, prosecutors said in their Nov. 19 filing.

Curl also allegedly told police that Keller’s “blood got onto his clothes,” prosecutors contend in their court filing, but they don’t disclose whether any of his clothing has been found or subjected to DNA testing.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney John Farrell declined to comment on Monday.

Keller, an art student from Plainfield, vanished on Oct. 14 after telling friends she planned to go to Prairie Park near the NIU campus.

Friends reported her missing after she failed to return, and a police search on Oct. 16 found severely burned human remains in the park.

Authorities believe the remains discovered are those of the Plainfield woman, but DNA testing that would confirm that has yet to be completed, authorities said.

Curl’s attorney said she likely would not oppose the request for a DNA sample from Curl.

Curl has met with a mental health expert for evaluation since he has been jailed, DeKalb County Public Defender Regina Harris said Monday.

“He’s very confused, very fragile,” said Harris.

The Aurora Beacon News contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire