Karina Castro, a 27-year-old mom of two daughters, was beheaded with a sword outside her San Carlos, California home in broad daylight on Thursday
Her ex-boyfriend, Jose Raphael Solano Landaeta, aka ‘Rafa Solano for short’, was arrested in connection with her death
Landaeta reportedly decapitated Castro in the presence of shocked neighbors, before calmly walking away
Castro in April obtained a restraining order against Landaeta, the father of her 1 year old, and her family is now speaking up about their apparently abusive relationship
Her father, Marty, said he had warned her for years to stay away from her abusive, ‘schizophrenic’ ex-boyfriend
Castro’s children, aged 7 and 1, who were inside the home at the time of the murder were handed over to Child Protective Services – her family is fighting to get custody of the girls
Landaeta will be arraigned on Monday
A mother-of-two who was beheaded in broad daylight has been identified, with her ex-boyfriend arrested in connection with her death.
Karina Castro, 27, was beheaded with a sword outside her Bay Area home on Thursday as shocked neighbors watched the terrifying scene unfold. Her two daughters, aged 7 and 1, were inside the home and did not witness their mother’s brutal murder that morning.
Castro’s ex-boyfriend, 33-year-old aspiring rapper Jose Raphael Solano Landaeta, who goes by Rafa Solano for short, was promptly arrested by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department in connection with her death.
Landaeta is the father of Castro’s 1-year-old daughter, with home she had a contentious relationship. In April she was granted a restraining order against Landaeta.
Castro’s family now say Landaeta is a diagnosed schizophrenic with a history of drinking on his medication, whom they warned Castro to stay away from.
He allegedly left the scene of the crime on Thursday, only to return minutes later when cops were on the scene of Castro’s San Carlos home.
Landaeta is scheduled to be arraigned in San Mateo Court on Monday.
Castro’s family now speaking up about her apparently abusive relationship with Landaeta, revealed their apprehension about the toxicity of the relationship over the years.
Grieving dad Marty Castro, told ABC7 how he took every chance to try to stop his daughter from seeing her abusive boyfriend: ‘Every time I saw her, I would beg her, “Don’t talk to him, leave him.”
‘And it seemed like the more I did that, the more she would see him.’
The 27-year-old mother of two daughter earned her GED from Menlo-Atherton High School and was working as a Door Dash driver at the time of her death.
He and the victim’s grandmother, Danielle Gannon, described Castro as an independent woman.
Castro was ‘determined to raise her daughters on her own,’ Gannon said.
But she apparently faced some problems in her relationship with Landaeta, whom Gannon alleged ‘is a diagnosed schizophrenic on meds.’ She claimed he ‘would use that as an excuse for his behavior.
‘He drank excessively and you’re not supposed to do that on those kinds of medications,’ Gannon explained.
Meanwhile, newly-discovered Snapchat messages between Castro and Landaeta reveal that she had threatened to expose his alleged relationship with another man just moments before her death.
Landaeta then sent her threatening messages back in response, ultimately leading to the confrontation outside Castro’s home on Thursday morning, when her father says: ‘He got really mad, went to the trunk of his car, pulled out whatever it was and killed her right there behind her car.’
Marty Castro is now warning parents: ‘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 will feel responsible no matter what anyone says.’
Neighbor Chapel Thorborne said he caught sight of the horrific scene from the steps of his home near the corner of Laurel Street and Magnolia Avenue, in San Carlos.
‘The head was underneath the car and she was laying in the back of the car- just severed,’ he told ABC. Authorities say the murder took place at around 11.50am, and officers were on the scene within minutes. Once there, they saw Landaeta and two friends returning to the victim’s home, where he was quickly arrested.
‘After he cut her head off, he came walking up, him and his two friends,’ Thorborne told ABC. ‘And they walked right by me and they arrested him.’
‘He was hurt, shocked, disappointed,’ he added about the suspect.
Police said they are still looking for the sword used in the beheading and an investigation is ongoing.
In the meantime, Castro’s family is fighting to get custody of Karina’s two daughters, who were put in the care of Child Protective Services after the gruesome murder.
‘I want those girls,’ Gannon told ABC7. ‘That’s what I want first, then I want Rafa to fry in jail. I don’t care what happens to him.’
Marty said he has also reached out to animal control to try to get custody of Karina’s dog and two cats, which were recovered from the scene.
And he set up a GoFundMe which had already raised $46,380, surpassing the $50,000 goal for Karina’s funeral as of Saturday.
‘Thank you, all this money will help [Karina’s daughters] and help us give my daughter a funeral to remember,’ he wrote on the online fundraiser Saturday.
‘I’m devastated, broke, empty and more hurt than I ever thought I could be by the situation,’ he added. ‘But thank you all for helping us.’