A California man accused of beheading the mother of his child with a sword exchanged hostile threatening text messages with his ex-girlfriend the day before her brutal slaying, according to a new report.
Jose Rafael Solano Landaeta was arrested Thursday on homicide charges related to the murder of his one-time girlfriend, Karina Castro. Authorities found the 27-year-old victim’s body outside her apartment in the Bay Area city of San Carlos around 11:30 a.m.
A domestic dispute culminated in the deadly altercation between the ex-couple, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. Witnesses flagged down officers amid the attack, but it was already too late — Castro was pronounced dead on the scene.
“Shortly thereafter, the suspect returned to the scene,” the sheriff’s office said.
In a new interview with ABC 7, Castro’s family members opened up about their grief and how they wish they could change what happened to her. The victim’s grandmother, Danielle Gannon, told the news station that 33-year-old Landaeta is a diagnosed schizophrenic who often “drank excessively” despite being on medication.
Family members added that Castro was granted a restraining order against her former flame in April, but kept in contact with him anyway.
“Every time I saw her, I would beg her,” the victim’s father, Marty Castro, said. “Don’t talk to him. Leave him and it seemed like the more I did that, the more she would see him.”
He 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.”
Just 24 hours before her death, tensions between the couple seemed to escalate in a series of Snapchat messages. They started with Castro threatening to expose Landaeta’s criminal record, which includes a rape conviction involving a minor, ABC7 reported.
“He got really mad, went to the trunk of his car, pulled out whatever it was and killed her right there behind her car,” her father said.
Castro shared a 1-year-old daughter with Landaeta and also leaves behind a 7-year-old daughter.