Bond set for man charged with estranged wife's murder

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WUSA9) -- A Loudoun County judge set a $2 million bond Thursday morning for a man charged with first-degree murder for the death of his estranged wife.

Braulio Castillo, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia security company Strong Castle Inc., is charged with the March 20 death of Michelle Castillo. Loudoun investigators say he beat and suffocated his wife, then tried to make it look like a suicide. Court documents say 43-year-old Michelle Castillo's body was found by Sheriff's deputies hanging from the shower in her basement the morning of March 20th.

The medical examiner ruled the cause of death suffocation. Her body and face had also been beaten.

Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman told us in April that the neighbor's surveillance cameras caught Castillo sneaking into the home on March 19, at 8:09 p.m., just ten minutes before his wife and children were seen driving up the driveway. The cameras also caught him leaving the home at 12:31 a.m. on March 20. Investigators believe Castillo waited until the children went to sleep, and then murdered his wife.

Investigators believe Castillo hid his wife's body until morning, after the children called him because they could not find her. One of the children, court documents say, had searched the basement bathroom and had seen nothing. When Castillo arrived, he searched the basement alone, and court documents say it's believed that's when he staged the murder to look like a suicide.

A neighbor who came to help searched upstairs. The neighbor told detectives he then called police because he was suspicious and concerned about Michelle's welfare due to the couple's on-going domestic issues. Deputies arrived and found the body in the basement.

The Castillos had been separated for more than a year and in November. Michelle Castillo had secured a protective order against her husband and he had filed a motion to dismiss the order.


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