Police Find Missing California Mom's Body, Announce Arrest

Rachel Castillo, a mother with two young sons, was missing for three days
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2022 1:38 PM CST
Police Find Missing California Mom's Body, Announce Arrest
Screenshot from a news report shows Rachel Castillo, 25, of Simi Valley, California. She was found dead in a remote area three days after being reported missing. Her ex-husband has been arrested for felony murder.   (ABC7 via YouTube screengrab)

Police in the small southern California city of Simi Valley delivered grim news Monday to family and friends of Rachel Castillo, a 25-year-old mother of two who went missing last week. Per People, Castillo’s sister called 911 last Thursday after finding signs of a struggle in the apartment that the two sisters shared. Responding police found a "significant amount of blood," according to a press release. They also found Castillo’s wallet, phone, and car keys but no signs of her, according to the Simi Valley Acorn, which notes that Castillo was born and raised in Simi Valley and was working with a local nonprofit while studying to be a therapist.

Family members told the Acorn that Castillo and her ex-husband, Zarbab Ali, were in the process of divorcing and were coparenting their two young sons. The boys were with their father on the day of their mother’s disappearance. According to ABC7, which interviewed Castillo’s friends and family, Castillo did not previously express fear that her ex would harm her. News of her death came as a shock in Castillo’s quiet neighborhood, where neighbors packed a church for a weekend vigil to pray for her safe return. Police said Castillo’s body was found Sunday in a remote area of Antelope Valley, north of Los Angeles. Ali was arrested the same day at his parent’s home and booked into the Ventura County Jail with a bail of $510,000. So far, he is charged with a single count of felony murder. Court records list his occupation as a math teacher, according to People. (More domestic violence stories.)

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