Questions and misinformation are swirling around the mysterious death of Alexandra Castano in Mount Vernon, N.Y. The 24-year-old woman’s body was discovered just outside her mother’s Mount Vernon home on Tuesday morning.
Castano reportedly left the house abruptly at 8 p.m. on Monday night, while she and her mother Lucia Castano were making dinner.
According to local reports, Castano texted her mother a half hour after leaving to say that she was coming back home. She never did, and her mother’s phone calls throughout the night were unanswered. At 7 a.m. the next day, police were tipped off by an anonymous caller that Alexandria Castano’s body was lying in the entrance of her mother’s home.
Lucia Castano told reporters she had no idea that her daughter’s remains were just outside her door — and that she didn’t know who could have seen the body and phoned police.
Questions Swirl About Alexandria Castano’s Death
The cause of death is unknown, pending an autopsy by the Westchester County Medical Examiner, but her family says they suspect foul play
“Someone did something to her,” said Cristina Benitez, Castano’s sister. “In my heart, I know it.”
Mount Vernon police have said that they’re investigating the matter, but no details are available at this time. Media requests for additional information have not been returned. How Alexandria Castano died — and whether she was killed — is, for now, the subject of speculation.
While some reports indicated Castano was “bloodied” when discovered, Benitez told local reporters her sister’s body showed no signs of trauma, and Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said the medical examiner found “no signs of assault or trauma” in a live video message on Facebook Thursday night.
“I just wanted to clarify this information because there have been media reports — from social media as well as television media and written media — that there was a bloody body found. That is not true,” the mayor said.
The mayor added that investigators are awaiting the results of a toxicology report, and asked anyone with knowledge of Alexandria Castano’s whereabouts on Monday night and Tuesday morning to contact Mount Vernon police.
Still, the Castano family believes someone else might have been involved the Alexandria’s death.
“I just want to know what happened to my sister, and who did something to my sister,” Benitez said. “I know my sister would not say ‘I’m coming home right now,’ and then not come home without even calling or without even shooting my mom a text.”
It’s not clear why Castano abruptly left her home Monday night, where she went, or why she didn’t return after telling her mother she would — all questions that are sure to arise as investigators seek answers.
Friends and Family are in Mourning
Neighbors and friends gathered at the Alexandria Castano’s Summit Street home on Tuesday night to take part in a candlelight vigil in memory of the deceased.
“Her smile just lights up the room,” recalled childhood friend Maria Figueredo, speaking to reporters in the same entranceway where Alexandria Castano’s body was found only hours before.
“She was a very good person,” said another friend, Daiana Gutierrez. “She would never harm anybody, she had a very big heart.
Lucia Castano told local reporters that her daughter worked in retail, and enrolled in school, and hoped one day to practice law.
“We are praying for the Castano family,” Mayor Patterson-Howard said Thursday. “We ask that you continue to lift them up in your prayers, and we are in contact with the family.”