‘Around the clock’ search for Simi Valley mom after blood found in home

Rachel Castillo
Rachel Castillo seen in a family photo.
(Courtesy of Castillo family)

Simi Valley police are working “around the clock” to find a young mother who vanished from her home, leaving behind her keys, phone, car and “a significant amount of blood.”

Worried relatives of Rachel Castillo, 25, summoned police Thursday evening after her sister discovered the disturbing scene at the apartment they shared on Country Club Drive. Based on the amount of blood and the presence of Castillo’s personal items in the residence and car in her parking spot, detectives have labeled her as potentially “at risk.”

Officials have arrested Zarbab Ali, 25, in connection with the death of Rachel Castillo, 25, whose remains were found Sunday in the Antelope Valley.

Nov. 13, 2022

“We want to locate her as soon as possible and we are hoping for the best-case scenario — that she is alive and well,” Simi Valley police Officer Casey Nicholson said. “Investigators are literally working around the clock.”


Castillo was last seen by her sister, Emily, at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the apartment where they lived with Castillo’s two sons, ages 2 and 5.

Her mother, Robyn Castillo, said the boys’ father came to pick them up in the morning and that her daughter was supposed to spend the day working from home at her job as a healthcare navigator for a social services agency. When Emily Castillo returned home around 8:30 p.m Thursday, her sister was gone and there was a large amount of blood inside the home.

“I was running around the house to see if I could find her somewhere… I checked her bathroom, under her bed, her closet, my closet, the laundry room, my bathroom and my bedroom but she wasn’t anywhere in there,” she told KABC.

Police said Castillo’s relatives and the father of her children have been cooperative. Court records show she initiated divorce proceedings this year.

“My understanding is that he has been cooperative right from the beginning,” Nicholson said.

Police Cmdr. Ritchie Lew cautioned that authorities have not “even determined a crime has occurred.”


“We don’t even have a suspect because we don’t know what happened,” Lew said. “What the detectives are trying to figure out is what happened and where she is.”

Robyn Castillo said her daughter, who was raised in Simi Valley, was a responsible person who would not have left her children and responsibilities. In addition to her job, she was studying for a master’s degree in clinical psychology at Pepperdine University’s online program with plans to become a marriage and family therapist.

The Castillo family spent Saturday hanging fliers, organizing search parties and trying to aid the police investigation.

“We are just doing the best we can,” Robyn Castillo said. “If anybody saw anything about Rachel’s disappearance, I would really love for them to come forward.”

Castillo is described as 5-foot-2 and weighing 105 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information regarding Castillo’s whereabouts is asked to call the Simi Valley Police at (805) 583-6950.