There is a mystery of what prompted this brutal double murder.
A woman and her daughter were bludgeoned to death in their Queens home by the woman’s live-in boyfriend, who called 911 and confessed that he had “killed them because they are witches,” law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.
The suspect, Carlos Amarillo, 44, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
The Queens district attorney’s office said that when police officers arrived at the house at 24-10 87th Street in East Elmhurst around 12:15 a.m., they found the victims, identified as Estrella Castaneda, 56, and her daughter, Lina Castaneda, 25, in their bedrooms. The younger woman’s 7-year-old daughter was found unharmed on the bed in her mother’s room.
He had called 911 to report it saying he wanted the police to kill him too. He believed both of the women had been “performing voodoo and casting spells” on him. There are no details as to why he believed this. A neighbor said she had not noticed any hints of anything wrong for the 8 or so years they have lived there. There were no records of domestic violence reports either.
Amarillo is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and one count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. It is also not known if Amarillo was treated for mental problems but neighbors say he was a bit odd.
There is also no mention of the Malleus Maleficarum a book on the prosecution of witches, “Hammer of [the] Witches,” written in 1486 by Heinrich Kramer, a German Catholic clergyman. There may be reason to suspect this might be related to the method of killing. Not enough details are available.