A 44-year-old Queens man allegedly beat his girlfriend and her daughter to death with a hammer because he believed they were “witches” who had cast a spell on him.
Carlos Amarillo has been charged with the murder of Estrella Castaneda, 56, and her daughter Lina, 25, who were found dead in their East Elmhurst home early Wednesday.
Lina Castaneda’s 7-year-old daughter was removed from the home. She was reportedly present during the attack.
Amarillo, who lived in the same home, attacked the women because he thought they were attempting to control him through magic, police sources told the New York Daily News.
Shortly after the attack Amarillo called 911. When police arrested him, he was walking from the house, holding a Bible, and saying, “I killed them, I killed them,” according to a statement from Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
“Around midnight we heard loud hammering. It was loud. I work in construction so I know what a hammer sounds like. I can’t believe it was the sound of someone getting hit. It sounded like someone was swinging that hammer hard,” neighbor Camilo Alvarez, 23, told the New York Post.
“I didn’t hear anybody screaming,” Alvarez said. “About 15, 20 minutes later the police came and arrested someone in the front yard. I can’t imagine what they went through. It’s disgusting. I’ve been up all night, I couldn’t sleep.”