A manhunt is on for 28-year-old, Brian Jerry Castillo of Arenal in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo District. Castillo is wanted for the double murder of a woman and her 12-year-old child and is currently on the run with his 7-year-old son. We join Reporter Vejea Alvarez for the story.
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Tragedy struck at a home on Zericote Street in the Santiago Juan Layout area of San Ignacio Town on Sunday night when a woman and her twelve year old child were killed and left lying in a pool of blood inside their apartment. One neighbor says they heard the loud voices and arguments but they weren’t sure if they were due to the regular drinking in the neighborhood or something more serious.
Neighbor: “Every weekend they party and these people whenever the drink you know they’re intoxicated and the noise and quarreling and fighting so whenever it’s a domestic you don’t know and my daughter told me she said ‘Dad I heard a female at the apartment shouting.’ and I told her it’s always people drinking and it’s domestic as per usual. And shortly after I was called by the neighbor for me to call police because there was an incident that had transpired where someone had been injured.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: It was only a month that 33 year old Jeniffer Archillia was living with Brian Jerry Castillo at the apartment. The couple worked together at a tortilla factor and tonight it’s anybody’s guess what triggered such a violent incident. The landlord Manuel Garcia says he and his family are left traumatized. He says he was unaware that they were having problems. He told Love News that he had just gotten home from church and everything seemed fine.
Manuel Garcia, Landlord: “The gate of my yard closed. His motorcycle was in the way and I blew and the little girl opened the window and said “What Mr.Manuel?” I said “The motorcycle is in the way.” Well he came down and moved the motorcycle. When we were ready to go to sleep we heard the motorcycle start. We said “Where is this man going minutes to nine ?” and after two minutes time the girl that was pregnant beside his room was hollering for me “Mr.Manuel !.” I opened my door and said “What happened ? Are you ready to have the baby ?’ She said “No the man killed the wife and the little girl.” So I got my phone and just ran to peep, climbed the third step and I saw blood in the room. So the first thing I did was call the police.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The woman reportedly died at the scene but 12 year old Nitzia Catzim still had a pulse. With a ray of hope police rushed the child to the hospital. She didn’t make it however as within the hour she passed away. Garcia says there were no red flags that he could have seen in the past four weeks. Meanwhile the woman’s cousin Cristopher Ralda says he grew up with Archillia and all he really knows is that the couple had recently met.
Christopher Ralda, Relative: “I don’t really know much what happened. We just saw pictures of the scene. We are relatives and we took them to my mom first and from there we went by Santiago Layout and we just reached there and they never really gave us much information, they just told us about Brian but they didn’t give us the title because they didn’t know the title either. They just asked us if we knew the person and we told them that I didn’t know them in person but my mom had met him once so on my behalf I didn’t really know him. I didn’t really know who her partner was or what actually was going on with them.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Love News understands that police found a seven inch kitchen knife suspected to be the murder weapon in the bushes nearby. Brian Jerry Castillo left the crime scene with his seven year son. Police have made searches at Castillo’s family home in the Lomas del Rodeo area in Benque Viejo del Carmen but they came up empty.
Police have since sent out a wanted bulletin for Brian Castillo. According to Police Press Officer, ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, they are making checks to see if any prior reports of domestic violence.
ASP. Fitzroy Yearwood, Public Relations, Belize Police Department: “On Sunday 21st November about 9pm San Ignacio police responded to a scene on Zericote Street in the Santiago Juan Layout area. This is where inside a room in an apartment they found the motionless body of two females apparently dead. When they did a proper check of the bodies the minor was still alive so they rushed her to the San Ignacio Community Hospital. The mother of that child, Jeniffer Archilla, she died on the spot and was pronounced dead. The daughter Nitzia Catzim with a large cut wound to her throat, the 12 year old daughter. The mother also had a large cut wound and other stabs to the body so initial investigation revealed that she was in an argument with her common law husband Brian Jerry Castillo whom we have issued a wanted poster for where Castillo inflicted these wounds to both females and after inuring them Castillo picked up his seven year old son and left the scene on a motorbike. Officers have interviewed several neighbors and now we are searching for Mr.Castillo as he is now wanted for this double murder. The knife was retrieved from the scene in some nearby bushes and both Jeniffer and her daughter Nitzia have been transported to the morgue at the San Ignacio Community Hospital where their bodies now await a post mortem examination. This one particular event that cost both these females their lives is harsh, dramatic, drastic act of domestic violence and whether or not the mother Jeniffer may had made any reports in the past I will have to get back to you on that because like you rightfully said it’s not normal for domestic violence to climax to reach these levels on the first occasion so we are doing a background check, we are doing all that we can to find out what may have led this man to this type of rage against the woman that he was living with and her daughter. We believe that yes the son could be in danger, we believe that anybody that tries to approach him whether or not he’s still in this state of rage you’re life would be at risk so we advise the general public not to approach him or if they do approach with caution. We don’t know what state of mind he’s in and we wouldn’t want to add to his death count. We erected checkpoints immediately to several angles leading to the border and no report has come in as yet that he attempted to pass any. But like we said we do not know when this incident initially took place and how much time he had before us getting to the scene to allow him to leave this country. But we know for a fact that the investigators have been out all night. We have our operations teams who have taken on this search and we have contacted our other law enforcement counterparts just to have them on the alert and I recently sent you guys a poster that we also issued in the name of Brian Jerry Castillo 28 years hoping to capture him soon.”
ASP Yearwood says Castillo is deemed as dangerous as it is uncertain what frame of mind he is currently in. He added that checkpoints have been notified and the officers are on the lookout for Castillo.