The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said Rafael Castillo of San Antonio was arrested on Wednesday, December 16, in connection with the death of Nicole Perry, 31. Road cleanup crews found Perry’s body on November 19 wrapped inside a black trash bag on a rural road in San Antonio, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said during a press conference.
The San Antonio woman was partially dismembered while still alive, the sheriff continued. An autopsy obtained by KSAT showed Perry’s body “had visible markings from being restrained and her hands had been severed.”
Investigators are still searching for missing body parts, Salazar said.
Castillo, who was arrested in Brownsville, has a set bond of $500,000, according to online jail records. His first court date is slated for January 19, the records show.
Salazar said police are not ruling out further suspects involved.
Here’s what you need to know:
Investigators Found a Receipt Near Perry’s Body for a Reported Stolen Gun, Which Castillo Was Suspected of Stealing, According to Local Media
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by KSAT, investigators were led to Castillo after they found a second trash bag near Perry’s body. The bag contained a smaller gift bag “tied in a peculiar manner,” the station reported.
Inside the gift bag was a torn receipt for a 9 mm “pink camouflaged” gun, which was reported stolen out of San Antonio, KSAT said. When investigators checked the serial number on the receipt, Castillo was listed as a suspect in the theft case, the station continued, citing the affidavit.
The receipt then led police on November 21 to a house on the 300 block of West Harlan Avenue, the station said. Salazar said during the press conference that police detained nine people there, while Castillo was detained in Brownsville, Texas.
Police Say Castillo Struck Perry in the Head With an Ax
#TEXAS Rafael Castillo “told her to shut up”, tied her up, cut off her hands while she was alive, and bludgeoned her with an ax.
Police say other body parts were cut off as well, as investigators still have not found all of her body parts.https://t.co/mnk7kSm98t
— Sydney Hernández (@SydneyHdzTV) December 18, 2020
Perry’s fiance, who was later arrested for violating his sex offender registration, told police he and Perry were homeless and staying at the house on Harlan Avenue, KSAT reported. Perry had “lost her father” earlier this year “and was not the same after,” he said, according to the affidavit obtained by the station. The name of Perry’s fiance is not shared in the report.
Perry’s frequent outbursts “quickly began to annoy Rafael,” the fiance told police, KSAT said. The day she was killed, Castillo threatened Perry to “shut up before he shut her up,” the affidavit obtained by the station shows.
The 26-year-old then tied Perry up with duct tape and threatened her fiance with the “pink camouflaged gun,” KSAT continued.
Salazar said in the press conference that Castillo dismembered Perry’s hands with a machete while she was alive then struck her in the head with an “ax or hatchet.” Her fiance was then “forced” to clean up the scene, KSAT reported.
Castillo told a witness that he killed the woman because she “disrespected” his name, KSAT said. He also ordered several other witnesses to dispose of the “large package” containing Perry’s body, the station continued.
KSAT reported that one man who lived in the house where Perry was killed “walked into a room to find the woman with an ax sticking out of her head and Castillo standing over her while cleaning his hands.”
One witness also reported seeing a slow cooker containing Perry’s dismembered hands with “painted fingernails,” KSAT said.