Family of woman beheaded in Bay Area share regret

“I would beg her. Don’t talk to him,” says Karina Castro’s father

Gino Spocchia
Monday 12 September 2022 19:06 BST
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The family of 37-year-old Karina Castro have expressed their sadness and regret about not being able to stop her relationship with the man accused of beheading her in San Carlos, California, last week.

Speaking with ABC7 News, a Bay Area news station, Castro’s father and grandmother said they warned the mother of two to stop seeing 33-year-old Jose Raphael Solano Landaeta, who was arrested following her killing on Thursday.

“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,” her father Marty Castro was reported as saying on Friday.

Her grandmother, Danielle Gannon, meanwhile told the news station that Mr Landaeta “drank excessively” despite allegedly being on medications for schizophrenia and added:  “He would use that as an excuse for his behaviour”.

Ms Gannon added that the suspect, who was reportedly due to appear in court on Sunday for a hearing, was subject to a restraining order but that he and Castro had continued to see each other, the news station reported.

Police records obtained by ABC7 said Castro was killed at roughly 11.50am on Thursday last week when an assault involving her and Mr Landaeta turned into a beheading in the middle of the working day.

Officers reportedly arrived at the scene in the 300-400 block of Laurel Street and Magnolia Avenue to find her body in two parts and blood all over the place.

Karina Castro, in an image shared by the Castro family on GoFundMe
Karina Castro, in an image shared by the Castro family on GoFundMe (Geneva Castro / GoFundMe )

The victim’s two children – who were afterwards taken into the custody of children’s services – remained inside her residence during the killing, according to ABC7.

Speaking to reporters, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Lt Eamon Allen said during a press conference that officers arrived at the scene and “shortly then after, the male suspect arrived back at the scene and was quickly detained by sheriff’s deputies.”

“He was later placed under arrest for homicide. We can confirm that a stabbing instrument was used in the commission of the crime. That weapon is still outstanding,” he said.

That weapon was thought to have been a sword, but police are yet to release further details.

Jose Raphael Solano Landaeta
Jose Raphael Solano Landaeta (ABC7)

Writing in a GoFundMe that has so far raised more than $69.000, Castro’s family said the young mother was “tragically beheaded on Thursday, September 8th, 2022.”

“Her family is broken hearted by her gruesome murder. She leaves behind two beautiful daughters ages 1 and 7.  Please help lessen the financial burden so that the Castro family can focus on healing,” they wrote.

While it remains unclear if Mr Landaeta had a lawyer or entered a plea, both Fox29 and ABC7 reported that he and Castro had an disagreement on social media before her death. The reports claim she threatened to reveal personal information and his criminal record.

The Independent has approached the city of San Mateo for comment.

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