Authorities say a man who allegedly murdered four family members of his ex-girlfriend in Colorado was arrested in Mexico and returned to the U.S. after nearly two months on the run.
After he allegedly shot four people, Joseph Castorena, 21, was on the run, and his brother and cousin are now accused of helping him escape authorities after the fact.
With the assistance of the FBI and Mexican law enforcement, Castorena was arrested Saturday in Aguascalientes, a state in north-central Mexico. On Sunday, Castorena was flown to the U.S. and booked into a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office detention center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Authorities in Aurora received information that Castorena fled to Zacatecas, a north-central Mexican state, after the quadruple murder.
Until his arrest on Saturday, investigators continued to monitor Castorena’s movement south through the country with the assistance of federal and Mexican law enforcement partners.
“The arrest of Joseph Castorena should serve as an example that the dedicated men and women of the Aurora Police Department never give up until the culprits are in custody,” interim Aurora police chief Art Acevedo said in a statement. “For teaming up on this arrest, I would like to thank our federal partners at the FBI and our Mexican law enforcement.”
Acevedo added, “I hope that this announcement helps bring closure to the families and friends of the victims.” It is not known when Castorena will arrive in Colorado.
In the early hours of Oct. 30, Aurora 911 received a call about suspicious activity at a home on Geneva Street. Three minutes later, the dispatcher heard gunshots and upgraded the call.
Upon arriving at 2:15 a.m., officers found four adults dead at a home near East 10th Avenue and Geneva Street. Two young children and a woman were rescued.
There was no harm done to either the woman or children, police said. The children are not related to the woman or suspect.
According to Aurora police, the incident stemmed from an ongoing domestic situation between the surviving woman and the suspect.
The deceased victims were previously identified as Mariana Serrano and Ken Green. Serrano is the sister of Castorena’s ex-girlfriend, who survived the incident. In addition to their father, Jesus Serrano, and neighbor Rodolfo Salgado, the ex-girlfriend and her father applied for restraining orders against Castorena just a week before the shooting, according to family members.
Six days later, Juan Angel Castorena, 18 years old, was arrested by Aurora police in Denver, followed by Castorena’s cousin, Carlos Casillas-Flores, 22 years old, on Nov. 10.
Castorena and Casillas-Flores were transported to Aurora and booked on accessory to first-degree murder charges after being arrested.
Investigators did not immediately have any evidence that the brother or cousin were directly involved in the Geneva Street shooting, but they did determine Casillas-Flores helped Castorena evade arrest.