According to officials, Michelle Castillo was found dead in her Ashburn, Virginia, home with an electrical cord around her neck hanging from a showerhead. Investigation Discovery’s ‘On the Case With Paula Zahn: No Escape’ portrays the horrible murder and shows how a police investigation unraveled a sinister plot fueled with hatred and rage.
Who Was Michelle Castillo?
Michelle Castillo was a happy mother of five who lived in her home at Belmont Station Road in Ashburn, Virginia.
Michelle was married to Braulio Castillo, her marriage was falling apart, and she was estranged from her husband.
A report also said that she had a protective order filed against her husband.
What Happened to Michelle Castillo?
On March 19, 2014, after finalizing the terms of her divorce she went out with friends and came back home that very night. To the surprise of her kid (whom she lived with) the next morning Michelle was missing.
According to reports, the children informed Braulio about their mother’s disappearance. He was unable to come to the house because of the protective order. However, he asked a neighbor to check on the children and his estranged wife. Still, no trace of her was found. This made the police involved in the case.
That was when authorities finally managed to recover Michelle’s body from a bathroom in the basement. She was found to be hanging from a shower head with an electric cord wrapped around her neck. The death surely looked like a suicide but the autopsy revealed the true cause of her death.
Michelle had extensive injuries on her face and neck, along with severe bruising to her legs, which hinted at possible physical assault. This made officers suspect homicide when they discovered blood splatters on Michelle’s clothes and saw that the shower was wiped clean.
Additionally, based on a statement from one of the children, officers checked Michelle’s bed and found traces of blood which was collected and sent for testing.
Braulio Castillo Charged for her murder
The officers were challenged because they had no clear view of this case from the primary investigation.
Initially, the police decided to look for intruders around the midnight mark but were unable to find any.
Fortunately for the officers, they began checking security footage of the evening and noticed that around 8:09 pm, a figure reportedly resembling Braulio entered the house. Subsequently, a few minutes after midnight, the same figure got out and quickly left the scene.
Soon forensics lab returned the test results on the blood found on Michelle’s bed. Thus, the blood was a perfect match to Braulio’s DNA and confirmed that he was present on the night of the murder.
Braulio was then arrested and charged with Michelle Castillo’s murder.
Braulio Castillo Court Hearing
Once produced in court, Braulio claimed that he was innocent and pleaded not guilty. His trial was a heartbreaking affair as the jury sat through painful testimonies determining what happened on that fateful night. Two of Braulio and Michelle’s children also testified against their father and affirmed that he was present in the house on the night of the murder.
Eventually, the jury returned a guilty verdict and charged Braulio Castillo for first-degree murder along with burglary and violation of a protective order.
Based on his conviction, Braulio was sentenced to life in prison with an additional 16-year prison term.
Since then, Braulio has tried to submit petitions to get his conviction overturned but in vain. Reports even state that the couple’s eldest son, Nick Castillo, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against his father. At present, Braulio Castillo is still incarcerated in the Buckingham Correctional Center in Buckingham County, Virginia.