Queens man allegedly kills mother, daughter with hammer because ‘they are witches’

Credit: Rikard Larma, Metro
The man shared the apartment with the victims. Credit: Metro Archive

A Queens man was arrested for beating his girlfriend and her 25-year-old daughter to death with a hammer because he thought they were casting spells on him, police and prosecutors said Wednesday.

Carlos Amarillo, 44, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Estrella Castaneda, 56, and her daughter Lina Castaneda in their bedrooms and calling 911 to report their deaths, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

When police responded to the call around 12:15 a.m., the mother was found face up with a pillow over her face, with the rubber grip of a hammer next to her body, prosecutors said. The rest of the hammer was found on the floor next to her daughter’s body.

Both were pronounced dead at the East Elmhurst apartment where they lived with Amarillo.

Prosecutors said Amarillo told the 911 operator, “two females are dead, they were assassinated, hurry they are dead. I killed them because they are witches, I want the police to kill me. I killed them with a hammer.”

Officials said he was found shortly after police arrived, walking from the apartment doorway to the street holding a bible and admitting he killed them.

In statements to police, Amarillo allegedly said he believed both victims were “performing voodoo and casting spells on him,” according to court papers.

“The defendant is accused of the violent beating death of his girlfriend and her daughter — who in fact was herself the mother of a young child,” Brown said in a statement.

Lina Castaneda’s 7-year-old daughter was in the apartment when police arrived but was unharmed.

Amarillo was charged with two counts each of first and second-degree murder and one count criminal possession of a weapon.

Information on an attorney for Amarillo was not immediately available.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders


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