Police catch alleged murderer fleeing from northern California


EL CENTRO – El Centro police caught a man suspected of murder in El Dorado County, Friday, with the help of a sharp-eyed private El Centro security guard.

The El Centro Police Department received information from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office June 14 regarding a homicide that occurred on June 13, in their county. An alert was sent to agencies throughout California requesting assistance in locating Bernardo Castillo, stating he was to be considered armed and dangerous, according to an El Centro police press release. The message stated a judge had issued a no bail arrest warrant for Castillo in relation to the homicide.

On Thursday, June 16, at 1:29 a.m., the police department received a call regarding a suspicious vehicle parked in a parking lot in the 1000 block of North Imperial Avenue in El Centro. A security guard called and reported a male seated in a white sport utility vehicle that had been parked at the location since 10:30 p.m., according to the release. The security guard was concerned because the vehicle had not moved and the occupant had not exited the vehicle.

Officers responded and located a white Ford Explorer parked in the parking lot as described by the guard. They contacted the occupant of the vehicle, later identified as Castillo, who stated he had just driven to El Centro from Sacramento. Castillo appeared nervous to the officers, according to the police. As officers were speaking with Castillo they were notified by the dispatch center the vehicle was wanted in connection with the homicide in El Dorado County. Officers detained Castillo and identified him through his California driver’s license. The vehicle was impounded as evidence and Castillo was booked at the county jail on the arrest warrant.

“We are pleased we could assist the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office in the apprehension of a murder suspect,” said El Centro Commander Robert Sawyer. “It is through collaborative efforts such as this that law enforcement can effectively provide the service the public deserves. It is also very important to note the key to this arrest was involvement from a member of the public.”