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The victim of a gruesome beheading that unfolded late last week during broad daylight on the streets of California reportedly threatened to expose details about the now-murder suspect’s private life to his friends just hours before she was killed.
The horrifying attack on Thursday occurred in San Carlos, a small town about halfway between San Jose and San Francisco in the state’s wealthy Silicon Valley region. San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies found the victim dead just before noon after they were flagged down by a witness. Her head had been cut off with a samurai sword.
ABC7 reported that the day before she was murdered, 27-year-old Karina Castro, a mother of two daughters, exchanged a series of contentious messages on Snapchat with 33-year-old Jose Raphael Solano Landaeta, who fathered Castro’s youngest daughter.
The report said that Castro threatened “to tell the world about Solano’s criminal record that includes a rape conviction involving a minor.”
Landaeta responded by allegedly calling her a “snitch lip” and threatened her by saying, “F*** around and find out.”
“U wanna put a target on my back, ur homies gunna kno the real u,” Castro responded, adding that she would expose his alleged sexual relationship with another man.
“Dude, go head try and take my a** out,” she added.
Castro’s father said that Landaeta was abusive toward her and said that he felt responsible for what happened by not intervening.
“If there’s somebody out there abusing your daughter, don’t take off. Don’t let it go. Don’t take no for an answer,” Marty Castro said in an interview. “You feel responsible, no matter what anyone says.”
“Every time I saw her, I would beg her, don’t talk to him,” he added. “Leave him and it seemed like the more I did that, the more she would see him.”
Law enforcement said that Landaeta was arrested after he returned to the scene of the crime.
Karina’s grandmother, Danielle Gannon, said in an interview that Landaeta was “a diagnosed schizophrenic on meds” and that he would use his condition as an excuse for how he acted.
“He would use that as an excuse for his behavior,” she said. “He drank excessively and you’re not supposed to do that on those kind of medications.”
County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Eamonn Allen told reporters that the scene was so horrifying that the sheriff’s office was providing support to the deputies that responded to it.
Greg Wilson contributed to this report.