Simi Valley, CA – Police arrested the ex-husband of missing mother-of-two Rachel Castillo in connection with her death on Sunday after the body of 25-year-old California woman was found in a remote area of Antelope Valley.
Simi Valley police have called 25-year-old Zarab Ali the primary suspect in the murder of the mother of his children, ABC News reported. Police said Ali was taken into custody in connection with Castillo’s murder without incident at his parents’ home in Victorville on Nov. 13.
“This investigation has rapidly evolved over the past few days,” the police department said. “This case is still under investigation and some details cannot be released due to legal and investigative reasons. The Simi Valley Police Department will release additional details related to this case when it is available.”
Castillo disappeared from the Simi Valley apartment she shared with her sister and her two-year-old and five-year-old children on Nov. 10, ABC News reported.
Her family said the last time anyone heard from Castillo, she texted her mother that the father of her children had pick their sons up from her apartment.
When her sister, Emily Castillo, arrived home that night, she encountered a terrifying scene, ABC News reported.
“As soon as I saw the blood, that’s when I realized something wasn’t right,” Castillo’s sister said. “So, I called my mom to let her know to come over and then I immediately called 911.”
Her family said Castillo’s phone, car keys, and car were still at the residence but there was no sign of her, ABC News reported.
Her mother, Robyn Castillo, told CNN that she raced to her daughters’ apartment as soon as she got the call.
“She entered the home, saw the blood and then called me and then called 911,” Robyn Castillo said. “So, I quickly rushed over, and we both entered the home again.”
She said her daughter, Emily, had searched the apartment for her sister, Rachel, and then went back outside to wait for her mother to arrive to avoid contaminating the crime scene, CNN reported.
Simi Valley police told reporters they believe Castillo is in serious danger.
“Upon further investigation, a significant amount of blood was located in her home. Rachel’s whereabouts are unknown. Given the circumstances, it is believed Rachel is at risk,” the police department said in a statement.
Castillo’s father, Christopher Castillo, is a retired law enforcement officer, ABC News reported.
The distraught father described the scene at the apartment as “gruesome.”
“Lots of blood on the floors, walls, and ceiling. And my daughter wasn’t there,” Christopher Castillo said.
Castillo was employed by a local non-profit social services agency helping victims of domestic abuse, ABC News reported.
She worked from home.
Her body was found in a remote part of Antelope Valley on Nov. 13, KABC reported.
Castillo’s ex-husband was arrested shortly thereafter.
Her mother told ABC News that she had talked to Ali over the weekend and they had a “very normal” conversation.
“He had my grandchildren, I had texted him to ask how he was doing,” Robyn Castillo explained. “He offered to video chat so I could see the boys. I got to see my grandsons and speak to them and he expressed his concern and I just told him we’re doing everything we can… he said he was very sorry and hoped that she was okay. It seemed like a very normal conversation.”
Authorities have taken Castillo’s sons into protective custody and the murdered woman’s parents are frantically working to get custody of their grandsons, KABC reported.
“I really didn’t expect it to turn out like this,” the murdered woman’s mother said.