Nora Castillo's daughter, Josie Castillo, recently talked to reporters about how she remembered her mother was "Very outgoing. Loved to laugh and smile". Josie was left wondering for years about where her mom was and how she could find her.
That's where Michele Kennedy, the Investigative Genetic Genealogists, came into play. The genetic DNA from the Jane Doe, now known as Nora Castillo, was uploaded to two databases called 'Family Tree DNA' and 'GEDmatch'. One match came back as a first cousin once removed from Nora. From there, Michele was able to build a family tree eventually tracing back to Josie's sister.
That's when Josie got the call that her mother was discovered 34 years ago in Baca County.
According to Michele without new genetic genealogy being used in cold cases, Josie and her sister wouldn't have the closure they have today.
With the new technology law enforcement officials hope more of these cold cases will get solved and leads will begin to take shape. Deputy Coroner Everett Brisendine with the Baca County Coroner's Office saying, "We're hoping we would get some kind of tip that would lead us to knowing more about why and how she died".
The family also wants to bring justice to the killer. Although Nora's daughter Josie says she can finally sleep at night knowing where her mom is.
According to a press release Sunday from Baca County Sheriff's Office and Coroner's Office, a Jane Doe found just outside Springfield, CO in 1988 now has a name. New DNA samples, along with samples submitted for a missing person report in 2004, led to the connection.
In June of 1988, a local farmer reported to the Baca County Sheriff's Office that he believed he found human remains on his land just outside of Springfield, CO. Former Baca County Sheriff Willard Goff and multiple other officials confirmed the remains as human. After several days of searches, nothing was found to help identify the remains.
In 2004, the McAllen, Texas Police Department obtained a DNA sample from a person searching for their missing mother, Nora Elia Castillo. That DNA was then linked to Castillo's missing persons case that had been filed in 1996. The reporting party in 1996 stating that she had been missing since 1986 or 1987. It was also reported that the last contact with Nora Castillo was a collect call from somewhere in Colorado in that time frame.
Descriptors and evidence gathered by the McAllen Police Department's missing person were consistent with evidence that Baca County investigators obtained for Jane Doe in 1988. Leading to a determination that Nora Elia Castillo and Jane Doe were the same person.
Nora Elia Castillo's family was notified that she was found and where her remains are buried in Baca County.
The details of how Nora Elia Castillo died or why she was in Colorado are still under investigation. If you have any information about Nora Elia Castillo or this case, please contact the Baca County Sheriff's Office at (719) - 523 - 4511 or the McAllen Texas Police Department at (965) - 681 - 2221. For now, this case is still being investigated as a potential homicide.
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