COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Almost seven years after his fiancée's lifeless body was found in a bathtub, Greg Magiera told a jury Wednesday about the last time he saw 23-year-old Urszula Sakowska.
Magiera, 35, testified Wednesday in the murder trial of Anthony Triplett, a cable man accused of raping and murdering two Chicago women.
A truck driver, Magiera was on a trip to New Jersey in December 2006 when Triplett, sent to their home near Midway Airport to install Internet service, allegedly bound Sakowska's mouth with duct tape and sexually assaulted her before choking her to death.
When he learned Sakowska was dead, Magiera jumped back into his semi and drove almost 800 miles from New Jersey back to the Southwest Side.
He talked about the disarray he found in their home the following day and recalled the red stains on the basement carpet, where police found Sakowska's bathroom slippers and a towel that authorities say had DNA matching Triplett's on it.
"She never would have left her slippers and the towel on the floor," he said, in a weak voice.
Sakowska worked as a nanny for a suburban family, earning about $400 per week in cash, Magiera said. Money that Sakowska would have received the day before the murder was missing from her wallet. She was also missing two credit cards.
A watch Sakowska had given Magiera for his birthday the year before was also gone, as was the change jar they kept in the computer room.
A blood-stained watch was recovered from Triplett, according to prosecutors. Blood samples taken from the timepiece matched both Triplett and Sakowska.
And one long blond hair allegedly belonging to Sakowska was found in Triplett's van, authorities alleged.
In opening statements, Cook County Assistant Public Defender Allen Sincox argued that the DNA evidence recovered by investigators does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Triplett is the murderer.
The prosecutor's case is linked to the murder of Janice Ordidge, 39, who was found dead in October of 2006 in her bathtub inside her Hyde Park apartment.
It wasn’t until mid-December of that year, when results from DNA samples recovered from her body came back, that police charged Triplett.
By then, Sakowska was already dead, allegedly strangled by Triplett, who, as a Comcast subcontractor, came to her apartment to work on her Internet connection.
Police allegedly alerted Comcast that Triplett had been interviewed during their investigation into Ordidge’s murder. But he stayed on the job.
When asked whether he was angry at Chicago police for their handling of the Ordidge case, Magiera said, "I would be more happy now if it wouldn't (have) happened. But I was not angry."
Though Triplett only faces trial for Sakowska's slaying, prosecutors are expected to delve into Ordidge's murder. Triplett faces a separate trial in the Ordidge case.