Blood and Business: The Murder of Silvia Karina Castillo


It was business as usual on Friday, Aug. 31, 2017, when Silvia Karina Castillo pulled her car out of the driveway of her Meridian Avenue apartment, in Miami Beach, headed to her nephew’s place at 1035 SW Fourth St. in Miami. She walked in but never walked out. Things took a radical turn, and before the end of the night, the 36-year-old lady would be dead.

Employees at the Hialeah Waste Connections facility found her headless body, on Monday, and called the police department.

The Murder of Castillo

Castillo and her nephew, Edwin Ramirez-Mejia, met to talk about the family-run business in Guatemala. Instead, they argued about her boyfriend, as indicated by the Miami Herald. Ramirez-Mejia’s outrage was so extraordinary that he removed his aunt’s head, placed it in a sack and tossed it and the body in a waste canister outside his flat.

On Monday, Ramirez-Mejia went to the police concerned about his aunt and eventually offered a confession. According to the 27-year old, his aunt fainted during an argument. He could not feel a pulse, so he cut her head off with a kitchen knife, to conceal his aunt’s identity, and disposed of her.

Hialeah Police Officers were suspicious of this story.

Motive for Murder

There are various motives for crimes of passion, or a homicide that is not premeditated, including possessiveness, vindictiveness, fear, and anger. These sentiments may even be unconscious. Psychologists say individuals who commit familicide or uxoricide have a fundamentally unexpected mental profile in comparison to those who kill outsiders.

Ramirez-Mejia said he was not able to feel Castillo’s heartbeat, so he took a wide kitchen blade and removed her head “to conceal her identity,” the police statement disclosed.

The Lie

Later, Police said Ramirez-Mejia changed his statement about Castillo death. This time, he mentioned they quarreled over his aunt’s boyfriend. The argument became heated, when Castillo grabbed the kitchen knife and attacked him. He stabbed her multiple times and dragged her to the bathtub where he unintentionally decapitated his aunt. He told police he only meant to slit her throat.

From Businessman to Madman

So, what causes a person like Ramirez-Mejia to act on violent impulses and commit murder? According to psychologists, some people can control their outrage or disappointment and channel these emotions through nondestructive outlets. Others, like the Ramirez-Mejia, probably display an unnerving absence of power. According psychologist Dr. Stephen A. Diamond,  violent offenders, overall, do not simply snap. They gradually grow unchecked until the person hits a breaking point where they mentally black out, or act within a state of psychosis.

As indicated by Dr, Hanlan, director of the forensic psychology research laboratory at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, these killings are in the heat of passion and, for the most part, include medications or liquor. They are also frequently driven by envy or revenge. He stated, “This is getting the kitchen cut out of the drawer in an attack of outrage and cutting her 42 times.”

Currently, there are no reports that either Ramirez-Mejia or Castillo had any drugs or alcohol in their system. It was during questioning, as stated by Officer Eddie Rodriguez, detectives noticed inconsistencies in Ramirez-Mejia’s accounts.

The Confession

“He gave conflicting statements,” Rodriguez alleged, “Then he gave a confession in regards to Castillo’s death.” Ramirez-Mejia additionally told investigators that he and his aunt were in the U.S. illegally. Rodriguez had not affirmed this by Thursday morning, saying records verification on Ramirez-Mejia and Castillo had come back empty.

A veteran judge for this case was bothered by the gross elements of the crime. The horror of it compelled her to take a short break in the wake of reading the bond report, when Ramirez-Mejia came before her. “The facts of this case are so horrific,” stated Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mindy Glazer, “I need to take a minute. I really do. I’m sorry.” The judge said she felt sick after delivering the arrest statement. In the meantime, neighbors, and friends that remember Castillo as a businesswoman, who was quiet and kept herself, mourn in shock.

Ramirez-Mejia is facing charges of second-degree murder and abuse of a dead body. He is being held in Miami-Dade County jail without bond.

By Jomo Merritt
Edited by Jeanette Smith


Local 10 ABC News: Miami man confesses to cutting off aunt’s head, police say
CBS Miami: Police: Nephew Murdered Aunt, Chopped Off Her Head
Palm Beach Post: Florida man says he decapitated aunt, threw body in trash
Psychology Today: Anger, Rage and Pathological Embitterment: What Motivates Mass Murders?

Image by Elmschrat Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License