LOCAL : Son, Daughter Find Mother Slain at El Toro Apartment

From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports

A Colombian-born woman was killed Tuesday night in a violent struggle with a man who fled from her El Toro apartment moments before her son and daughter returned from renting a video, police said this morning.

The body of Ana Castellanos, 50, was discovered at 8:50 p.m. on Tuesday by her 32-year-old son, who noticed the front door to the upstairs apartment on Farthing Street had been left ajar, sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Richard Olson said today.

Sheriff’s officials disclosed few other details about Castellanos’ death, which occurred in the Villa Viejo apartment complex near El Toro and Jeronimo roads.

But witnesses said that Castellanos, who lived in the apartment with at least one other family, was overheard struggling with someone around the time of her death.


A neighbor, George Schwable, said he and his wife, Ruthie, were watching television when they heard loud noises upstairs. “It sounded like three body slams right on the floor,” Schwable said. “Boom. Boom. Boom. Like that.”

“There was no arguments, no verbalizing,” Ruthie Schwable added.

Olson said that there were no signs of a struggle and that investigators have not identified any suspects.

The cause of death was unknown, Olson said, adding that the coroner had scheduled an autopsy for this afternoon. He said that “there was trauma to the (woman’s) body,” but would not elaborate, pending an investigation by the sheriff’s homicide division.