DA: Suspect Calls 911 To Report Queens Murders, Calls Victims ‘Voodoo Witches’
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) A man charged with killing his girlfriend and her daughter inside the Queens home they all shared told police the women were witches who were trying to put a voodoo spell on him, according to authorities.
Carlos Amarillo, 44, was arrested on two counts of murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Amarillo called 911 just after midnight Wednesday to report the murders at a home on 87th Street in Elmhurst.
“Two females are dead. They were assassinated. Hurry. They are dead,” Amarillo allegedly told police, according to Brown. “I killed them because they are witches., I want the police to kill me. I killed them with a hammer.”
When officers arrived, they found Amarillo walking around in the street carrying a Bible, saying, “I killed them. I killed them,” authorities said.
Once inside, police found the bodies of 56-year-old Estrella Castaneda and her daughter, 25-year-old Lina Castaneda, both with severe head trauma, police said. A hammer was also found inside the home, police said.
Neighbor Camillo Alvarez, who lives two doors down, said he heard what he called “banging” around midnight.
“Sounded like something hitting a blunt object,” Alvarez said. “I’ve been awake all night thinking about it, the time it happened, how long it was happening, how close it was. It’s not easy.”
Lina Castaneda’s 7-year-old daughter was found in her mother’s room, Brown said. She was not hurt, but doctors evaluated her as a precaution.
“The little girl would come and play with the dogs,” neighbor Deborah Pawleuk said. “They were lovely people.”
The girl is now with her father. It’s unclear if she witnessed anything that happened inside the home.
“You worry about gun control, but this is a hammer,” Pawleuk said. “What possesses someone to pick up a hammer and kill two people?”
If convicted, Amarillo faces up to life in prison without parole.
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