3 Children Found Slain in Baltimore Hotel Room

By Daniel de Vise and Elissa Silverman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, March 31, 2008

Three young children from Montgomery County were found slain in a hotel room in Baltimore yesterday, shortly after their father called the front desk to report that he had killed them, Baltimore police said.

The father, Mark Castillo, 41, of Silver Spring, was in police custody at a Baltimore hospital last night. Court records available online show that he was involved in divorce and child custody proceedings with the children's mother, Amy A. Castillo, 42, a pediatrician in suburban Maryland.

The children were identified as Anthony, 6; Austin, 4; and Athena, 2. They apparently lived in the 400 block of Waterford Road in Silver Spring with their mother.

The children, who had been seen playing at home Friday, were found in a top-floor room of a hotel near Camden Yards and the Inner Harbor.

Baltimore police spokesman Sterling Clifford said autopsies will be conducted to determine the cause of the deaths.

"We're looking at either suffocation or strangulation or possibly drowning," he said.

Police said the slayings might be linked to the custody dispute.

"It kind of looks that way," Clifford said, "but I'm just not sure." He said last night that the father had superficial cuts that "appeared to be self-inflicted."

"This is just a horrible tragedy," said Joe Vanderwalde, the mother's supervisor in the Kaiser Permanente system. "It is the worst thing I've ever heard of."

Police said the father and the children got a room Saturday in the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards.

According to police, shortly after 1 p.m. yesterday, a call was received at the hotel's front desk from someone who said that he had killed his family and was about to kill himself.

Hotel security guards went to the Castillo family's 10th-floor room, according to police, and found the man and the bodies of the children.

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