Woman Allegedly Beheaded in Calif. Street Identified, Her Father and Grandmother Speak Out

“If there’s somebody out there abusing your daughter, don’t take off. Don’t let it go. Don’t take no for an answer,” Karina Castro’s father warned

The father of a woman who was reportedly beheaded in a San Carlos, California, street is speaking out, sharing that he “would beg” his daughter to “leave” the suspect.

On Thursday, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office issued a news alert, stating that an “adult male” was in custody for a woman’s murder. Earlier that morning, witnesses had “flagged down” officers near Magnolia and Laurel about “an assault in progress,” police said in its release.

At the scene, police found a woman who had died. “Shortly thereafter, the suspect returned to the scene” and was arrested for her murder, the release continued.

The victim has since been identified as 27-year-old Karina Castro, according to ABC 7 in San Francisco. She was a mom to two girls, 7 and 1. She was a student at Menlo-Atherton High School and earned her GED. At the time of her death, she worked as a DoorDash driver.

The sheriff’s office previously told PEOPLE that the suspect in custody is 33-year-old Jose Landaeta Solano, who also goes by Rafa Solano.

He has been confirmed as Karina’s ex-boyfriend and the father of her 1-year-old, the outlet said. Karina was granted a restraining order against Landaeta in April, but still saw him.

Speaking with ABC 7, Karina’s father said he took every chance to try to stop her from seeing Landaeta.

“Every time I saw her, I would beg her. Don’t talk to him. Leave him and it seemed like the more I did that, the more she would see him,” Marty Castro told the news station. “She was an amazing girl.”

The victim’s grandmother Danielle Gannon echoed similar sentiments, stating that Karina “was an amazing woman, very stubborn, determined to raise her daughters on her own.”

She alleged that Landaeta suffered from mental health issues and alcoholism.

“He is a diagnosed schizophrenic on meds. And he would use that as an excuse for his behavior. He drank excessively and you’re not supposed to do that on those kind of medications,” Gannon said.

Snapchat messages between Karina and the suspect that were obtained by ABC 7 show that she threatened to expose his alleged relationship with another man. They later had an altercation outside of her home, per the outlet.

“He got really mad, went to the trunk of his car, pulled out whatever it was and killed her right there behind her car,” Marty said.

One neighbor, Chapel Thorborne, described the scene to the outlet.

“The head was underneath the car and she was laying in back of the car, just severed, and then they covered her up.”

Karina’s family learned about the incident in the media, they said. Marty shared with ABC 7 that he rushed to the scene and explained how he was told his daughter was the victim.

“When the deputy walked up, he would not confirm who it was. But I said that she owned that black Volkswagen. He said yeah, that’s her car. I said, ‘That’s my daughter.’ ”

The family is also fighting for Karina’s two daughters to be reunited with them as they were taken by authorities after she was killed.

“I want those girls. That’s what I want first, then I want Rafa to fry in jail. I don’t care what happens to him,” Karina’s grandmother said.

Marty also reached out to animal control to try and get Karina’s dog and two cats that were recovered from inside her home, he told the news station.

In a warning to other parents, the mourning father added, “If there’s somebody out there abusing your daughter, don’t take off. Don’t let it go. Don’t take no for an answer. You feel responsible, no matter what anyone says.”

Landaeta will be arraigned on Monday. It is not clear if he’s hired a lawyer to comment.

A GoFundMe set up for Karina said that she was “tragically beheaded on Thursday” and that her family “is broken hearted by her gruesome murder.” As of Friday night, the page has raised over $12,600 of its $25,000 goal.

 

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