San Carlos beheading victim identified as Karina Castro, new information released about man arrested in attack

SAN CARLOS, Calif. — A father has shared his regrets with ABC7’s sister station KGO-TV, saying he did nothing to keep his daughter away from the man who police say killed her Thursday during a brutal sword attack.

“Every time I saw her, I begged her. Don’t talk to her. Leave it and it seemed like the more I did that, the more she would see it.”

From this exclusive interview, Eyewitness News learns more about the victim and the man currently being held for her murder in San Carlos.

This family wants the public to know Karina Castro, understand what she’s been through, and help bring her children home. They were taken away by social workers after the attack.

Castro’s grandmother, Danielle Gannon, met with KGO-TV at her home in Vallejo on Friday.

She invited the team inside to meet her son, Marty Castro – the father of Thursday’s beheading victim.

Castro: “She was an amazing girl.”

Ganon: “She was an amazing woman, very stubborn, determined to raise her daughters on her own.”

Karina Castro was 27, got her GED and worked as a Door Dash driver. She left behind 7-year-old and 1-year-old daughters.

She had the youngest with the man now detained for her murder, Jose Raphael Solano Landaeta, 33.

The family says his name is Rafa Solano and he was not working. KGO-TV found rap songs which it posted on YouTube.

Ganon: “He’s a diagnosed schizophrenic who takes medication. And he would use that as an excuse for his behavior. He was drinking excessively and you’re not supposed to do that with those kinds of medications.”

The family confirms what the investigative team learned Thursday from police sources that Solano had been violent with Castro and that she had obtained a restraining order against him in April, but had continued to interact with him.

Castro: “If there’s someone out there abusing your daughter, don’t leave. Don’t give up. Don’t take no for an answer. You feel responsible no matter what anyone says.”

Ganon: “Me too, baby.”

The day before the murder, Snapchat messages between the couple became very controversial. The I-Team got more than a dozen, most with language too explicit to show.

She threatens to reveal to the world Solano’s criminal record which includes a rape conviction involving a minor. He calls it “the snitch lip” and warns it “F*** around and find out.”

Castro retaliates, “You want to put a target on my back, your homies are gonna know who you really are” and threatens to expose his sexual relationship with another man.

She adds, “Dude, go ahead, try to take my ass off.”

Hours later, they had a confrontation in the street outside his apartment – his daughters safely inside.

Marty Castro: “He got angry, went into the trunk of his car, pulled out what it was and killed her right behind his car.”

Stunned neighbors watched it unfold. Chapel Thorborne saw the horrific consequences.

Thorborne said: “The head was under the car and it was lying in the back of the car, just cut off, then they covered it.”

Castro’s family said they learned of the murder Thursday night through the media. Her father rushed to the scene and saw firefighters spraying blood on the street.

Castro: “When the deputy arrived, he didn’t confirm who it was. But I said she had this black Volkswagen. He said yes, it’s necessary. It’s my daughter. “

The social workers had already taken the girls. Gannon and Marty Castro want them as soon as possible, but the CPS said they would have to go through the application process.

Gannon says, “I want those girls. That’s what I want first, then I want Rafa fried in jail. I don’t care what happens to him.”

As KGO-TV left, Marty Castro was in tears, calling the coroner to get his daughter’s effects, calling CPS to pick up his grandkids, and calling animal control so he can pick up his dog and two cats.

Solano’s arraignment was scheduled for Friday afternoon, but was pushed back to Monday.

The City of San Carlos and the Community Foundation are accepting donations to help Castro’s children. You can donate here.

Love shouldn’t hurt, but domestic violence can happen in any relationship, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, religion or gender. These local resources can help.

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