Custom Search

Monday, March 31, 2008

Police: Man Kills His Three Children At Baltimore Hotel

The front desk of the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards received a phone call yesterday from a guest of the hotel, who was reporting the deaths of his three children. Police allege the man, Mark Castillo, drowned his children, one at a time.
Mark Castillo has been charged in the deaths of his three children, Anthony, 6, Austin, 4, and Athena, 2, claiming that Castillo, who has a history of mental problems, submerged them in a bathtub, one at a time.

According to Officer Troy Harris, a city police spokesman, "About 1:15 p.m., hotel security received a call from a guest who said "he had killed three of his kids" and was considering doing harm to himself."

When security entered the room on the 10th floor they found the three children dead and Castillo suffering from "minor cuts that appeared to have been self-inflicted," said another police spokesperson, Sterling Clifford.

The children were with Castillo on a regularly scheduled visit and was supposed to spend Saturday with them and return them to their mother Amy Castillo, by the end of the day. When the children were not returned by 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Amy called the Montgomery County police.

Amy and Mark Castillo had been involved in a custody dispute over the children at the time of the their deaths, according to Maryland court records.

Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III stated at a press conference that Mark Castillo had no prior criminal record, adding, "There is indication that there had been prior disputes with his wife concerning their marriage and custody of the children."

The earliest case found during my own research through the court records was from 2005, over insurance and that case is marked closed.

The another domestic abuse case filed on 12/25/06.

The Plaintiff was Amy Castillo, the defendant was Mark Castillo and the first hearing was on 12/25/06, was listed as an interim hearing and the court orders were as follows:

Court Orders:
Shall not abuse
Shall not contact
Shall not enter residence

That was followed up with a temporary hearing on 12/27/06 and the court orders were as follows:

Court orders:
Shall not abuse
Shall not contact
Shall not enter residence
Shall stay away from employment
Respondent shall vacate the home

On 1/3/07 on a final hearing, the case was transferred from the Rockville District Court to the Montgomery County Circuit Court, filed 1/2/07.

The outcome of that case shows that the ruling Judge, Joseph A Dugan, denied the final protective order.

In the midst of all of the court hearings, the fight for custody was still ongoing and in the Maryland court records, date of filing 7/19/06, and by 7/28/06, Amy Castillo was given temporary sole legal and sole physical custody of the three minor children.

That particular court records shows hearings and actions from 2006 until the last one dated today 3/31/08.

Mark was granted visitation rights after Amy was awarded sole custody and twice last year, Amy filed motions to withhold visitation, which were denied by the court.

Amy was even fined for denying visitation once.

The Pediatrics service chief for the Mid-Atlantic Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Vanderwalde, said that Amy, "tried so hard to do what she could for her children."

One neighbor, Keith Lamirande, said that he had witnessed police called to the Waterford Road home where Amy and the children lived, "at least a half-dozen times," including once within the past week.

This is a case where the system failed and that failure resulted in the deaths of three innocent children.

Deaths that from the court documents shows, could have been avoided.

[Update] CNN points out that the mother did, indeed, warn the court that the husband had threatened to make her suffer by killing their three children.

But Castillo's wife wrote in court documents that her husband had threatened to make her suffer by killing the children. She sought a protective order December 25, 2006, and asked that the court order Castillo to receive counseling.

"He has never actually hurt [the children], but did tell me that the worst thing he could do to me would be to kill the children and not me so I could live without them," she wrote in the petition.