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Published: Friday, 3/30/2007

Police seek gunman in Bowling Green slayings; victim's 10-year-old identified killer in 911 call

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - Kathy Newlove knew Craig Daniels, Jr.'s history.

In fact, the last time he was arrested for harassing her daughter, she wrote a letter to the judge asking that Daniels be kept behind bars.

"I said she'll be another statistic," Mrs. Newlove said.

About 3 a.m. yesterday, her fear was realized when her daughter, Alicia Castillon, 30, was shot to death in her Parker Street home on Bowling Green's west side.

John C. Mitchell, 22, a man family members said Castillon had been seeing, was found shot to death in the same room.

Police said Castillon's four children, who range in age from 9 months to 10, were in the home but were not harmed.

"She was trying so hard, trying to get through school so she could take care of the kids," a shaken Mrs. Newlove said outside her home yesterday. "She lived in a beautiful little house, and now it's all gone."

Alicia Castillon Alicia Castillon
BOWLING GREEN POLICE DEPT. Enlarge

Police immediately launched a manhunt for Daniels, 34, who they described as armed and dangerous.

Warrants were issued charging him with two counts of aggravated murder.

He was identified as the killer in a desperate 911 call placed about 3 a.m. yesterday by Castillon's 10-year-old daughter, Katy. She tells the dispatcher her stepdad shot her mom and dad.

"I saw him. He said stay out of the room and he left," she said as she pleaded for police to hurry.

Two of Castillon's children were fathered by Daniels.

Jenessa Hartman, cousin of Alicia Castillon, and Jennifer Welling, a friend, recall the victim. Jenessa Hartman, cousin of Alicia Castillon, and Jennifer Welling, a friend, recall the victim.
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Bowling Green Police Lt. Tony Hetrick said Daniels and Castillon had a long history punctuated by violent incidents. He has been in jail and prison repeatedly over the years, including a three-year prison sentence in 2000 for domestic violence, burglary, and intimidation of an attorney, victim, or witness in a criminal case.

Court records show Daniels "hit [Castillon] with an open hand, a closed fist, and beat her head on the wooden floor." He also held a knife to her throat and said he should kill her.

That scene was nearly repeated in December when, according to police reports, he went to her house, beat her up, tied her hands behind her back, and put a knife to her neck saying he was going to kill her.

On Jan. 22, police were called when Daniels showed up at her home. Castillon told the officer Daniels "wants to kill her and no one told her he was out of jail," a police report states. According to the report, she told the officer she did not want to file charges because she didn't want it in the newspaper.

Two days later, Daniels was arrested at his South Main Street apartment by Bowling Green police for menacing by stalking for repeatedly contacting Castillon despite warnings by officers. He also was charged with phone harassment for calling her repeatedly on her cell phone.

Daniels was initially held in the Wood County jail in lieu of $30,000 bond, but when his case was bound over to Wood County Common Pleas Court and he was indicted on the charges, Judge Reeve Kelsey released him on his own recognizance - meaning he did not have to post bail - with the order he have no contact with Castillon.

Mitchell Mitchell
BOWLING GREEN POLICE DEPT. Enlarge

There was no protection order in place, but it might not have mattered.

"I want to know why this had to happen," Mrs. Newlove said. "I have no daughter anymore and my grandchildren have no mother."

Judge Kelsey said he takes a number of factors into account when deciding whether to release a defendant. He refused to comment on what specifically he considered in Daniels' case. He said he was not aware of a letter from Castillon's mother, and there was none in the court file.

Wood County Sheriff's Deputy Mary Ann Robinson, a domestic violence specialist, said she has known Daniels and Castillon more than 10 years. She recalled an incident in 1998 when Daniels held Castillon against her will for two hours and ripped out bunches of her hair.

Kathy Newlove said that she sent a letter asking a judge to keep the suspect behind bars. Kathy Newlove said that she sent a letter asking a judge to keep the suspect behind bars.
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She said it's hard to explain what brings a victim and an abuser together again and again, but in most cases, there is a lot of "brainwashing and manipulation and fear on the victim's part."

"There's a lot of dynamics to it," Deputy Robinson said. "That's what makes it so frustrating for law enforcement agencies, advocacy agencies, and prosecutors. This is the ultimate frustration right here."

Lieutenant Hetrick said nearly every officer in the department had interacted at some point with Daniels and Castillon over the years, but murder is rare in Bowling Green. The last occurred Feb. 29, 2004, when William Ball cut the throat of his girlfriend, Michelle Descant, in her Summit Street home.

Police examine the are outside the Parker Street house where two people were shot to dead yesterday. Police examine the are outside the Parker Street house where two people were shot to dead yesterday.
Enlarge

"We do not deal with these on a regular basis. They're tough especially when there's children involved and we're thankful no children were injured - at least physically," Lieutenant Hetrick said. "Our heart goes out to the children. Losing a parent is probably one of the worst things anyone can go through at that age. We just want to see some justice served for them."

Family members said Castillon was training to be a cosmetologist at the Toledo Academy of Beauty Culture. She loved her children, they said.

"Anything she's gone through, she's always come back," her friend, Jennifer Welling said. "She's been a good, happy person, just searching for the right thing."

Ms. Welling said Castillon was trusting and always willing to give people a chance.

"She was always saying, 'It's going to get better. It's going to get better,' and it seemed to be," Ms. Welling said. "It seemed like things were looking up for her."

Castillon's uncle, who declined to give his name, said many of her problems stemmed from associating with the wrong people.

"She fell quite a few times, but she always got back up again," he said. "Her biggest problems have been with [Daniels], and once you have big problems, big problems never go away."

Little was known about Mitchell, whose last known address was listed on Champlain Street in Toledo. He had been convicted in Van Wert County for forgery and in Paulding County for attempted engagement in corrupt acts and had been in prison from June 29, 2005, until Dec. 18, 2006.

Joellen Culp, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, said he was declared "a violator at large" on Feb. 17 because he had failed to report to his parole office and his whereabouts were unknown.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan @theblade.com or 419-353-5972.



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