A prime suspect was brought into custody early Thursday morning in Queens, a borough in New York City, on allegations that he killed his Colombian girlfriend and her daughter with a hammer. The alleged culprit has since claimed the two were “witches,” and that he was therefore obliged to kill them.
Carlos Amarillo, 44, had been living with his girlfriend Estrella Castañeda, 56, and her daughter Lina Castañeda, 25, in an apartment in East Elmhurst, a largely hispanic and Colombian neighborhood of Queens, where the murder took place.
According to preliminary police reports, Amarillo called 911 at around 12:15 AM, saying that his house had two dead women in it and asking the police to hurry. He also allegedly asked the police to kill him during the emergency call.
When the police arrived, they found the accused “wandering around with a bible saying, ‘I killed them, I killed them,’” according to The New York Post.
Two women were found in the apartment with massive head trauma, along with a seven-year-old girl, the daughter of Lina Castañeda, who was uninjured but traumatized.
Amarillo was taken into custody on counts of first and second degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
While being interrogated, the assailant confessed and “was remorseful” but continued to say that he did it because the two women were “witches” and that they were “doing voodoo on him,” according to the Post.
Neighbors could hear and recognize the sound of hammering from the apartment, but no one suspected that anyone was being attacked.
“Around midnight, we heard strong hammering. It was noisy. I work in construction, and I know when I hear the sound of a hammer. I cannot believe that that was the sound of someone being hit,” said neighbor Camilo Alvarez.
- Asesinan a martillazos a colombianas en Nueva York “porque eran brujas” (El Espectador)
- Hammer maniac ‘kills women for being witches’ (New York Post)
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