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Police Hunt Suspected Killer : Fugitive: Shasta County authorities believe a man sought in a fatal stabbing may be in Westminster.

From Staff and Wire Reports

Authorities warned Monday that a Westminster man, suspected of fatally stabbing one person in Washington state and wounding another in San Joaquin County and stealing their cars, may have fled to Southern California.

Westminster police said they had been contacted Sunday evening by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department asking them to arrest on sight Antonio Magana Castro, 27. Law enforcement officials throughout Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington were also notified Sunday.

“We are sure that he’s left the (Redding) area,” Shasta County Sheriff’s Detective Lance Highet said Monday. “We suspect that he is heading south and we have been in contact with agencies there to request their assistance.”

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Highet said Castro has a history of prior arrests in Southern California and may have relatives in Westminster.

“This guy is dangerous,” Highet said. “He’s already demonstrated that.”

Westminster Police Lt. Richard Main said, “We don’t know anything” about Castro’s whereabouts. “He was a resident here years ago. . . . We’re kind of in the dark. There’s no indication there were any recent contacts.”

Main said Westminster police have no addresses for Castro or his relatives.

Castro was last seen wearing a black jacket, pants and boots. He is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, white, about 170 pounds with a muscular build, short brown hair and brown eyes. His front teeth may be capped with gold exposed at the gum.

He is believed to be driving a 1971 white, four-door Ford Torino with chrome wheels and license plate number 2RSW557, Lt. Ron Richardson said.

Law enforcement officers, dogs and helicopters combed the area around Shasta County’s Pollard Flats on Saturday after a CHP officer stopped a speeding car on Interstate 5. The driver fled into the woods near the Sacramento River. Authorities later discovered that the car was stolen.

The car’s owner, Mike Fadeff, 72, of Mount Vernon, Wash., had been found stabbed to death that morning. Authorities found a cache of stolen firearms--including rifles, shotguns and handguns--in the car, the CHP said.

Authorities called off the manhunt after learning Castro paid an unsuspecting Lakehead, Calif., woman $300 in cash Sunday for her Ford Torino. The man said he planned to drive to Los Angeles.

The unnamed woman later identified Castro through a photograph. He was also identified by fingerprints on the car, Richardson said.

Residents from Dunsmuir to Lakehead were advised to stay indoors and to keep homes and cars locked Sunday while officers searched along the Sacramento River Canyon. Freight trains running through the area also were searched car by car.

Authorities warned motorists against picking up hitchhikers and posted advisories along Interstate 5 north of Redding.

The day before, the Skagit County Sheriff’s Department in Washington investigated a burning vehicle near Fadeff’s home. The burned car was stolen Wednesday from a San Joaquin County man who was stabbed repeatedly during a residential robbery. The victim, a resident of Thornton, Calif., was recovering in a San Joaquin County hospital.


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