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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

An East Elmhurst man will spend the rest of his life in prison after he brutally beat his girlfriend and her daughter, both of whom he believed to be witches, with a hammer.

Carlos Alberto Amarillo, 48, was sentenced to serve two consecutive terms of life without the possibility of parole. Amarillo was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child last month.

According to trial records, police responded to a 911 call at an address on 87th Street in East Elmhurst at 12:10 a.m. on July 29, 2014. Upon their arrival, they found the body of Estrella Castaneda, 56, face up on the bed with a pillow over her face and blood soaked into the linens and walls. The rubber grip of the hammer was found Castaneda’s body.

In another bedroom, police found the body of Castaneda’s daughter, Lina, 25, face down with injuries to the head. The hammer was found near Lina’s body. Lina’s 7-year-old daughter was found unharmed in another room of the house.

Trial testimony states that Amarillo called 911 following the murders, stating that “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.”

Police arrived at the scene and found Amarillo walking away from the home towards the street, holding a Bible in his hands. Police say that Amarillo stated that the women were “witches and were performing voodoo and casting spells” on him that made him sick.

District Attorney Brown said, “This defendant will rightfully spend the rest of his natural life behind bars for fatally beating to death his girlfriend and her daughter – who was the mother of a young child who also happened to be in the residence that night but fortunately was not harmed.”

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