Family of murdered Albuquerque man hopes to draw attention to the case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - An Albuquerque man was found murdered, his body left in a creek in Memphis, Tennessee. 

There's been no arrest in the case, but his family is trying to change that by bringing more attention to the case here in Albuquerque. 

The Albuquerque Police Department said it's a rare move for Crime Stoppers in New Mexico to highlight a crime that didn't even happen here, but they're hoping it will generate leads across state lines. 

Since it first began in Albuquerque in 1976, Crime Stoppers -- the program that allows people to provide anonymous information about crimes in their cities -- has gone international. 

"This is the unique thing about Crime Stoppers, it did originate in Albuquerque in the '70s," APD Simon Drobik said. 

In an unusual move, Crime Stoppers in Memphis, Tennessee has asked Albuquerque Crime Stoppers to help them generate new tips in an unsolved case involving an Albuquerque man who was found dead in a creek there last February. 

"This had been on my heart and my mind, like, gosh, if we could just get this to happen it would be excellent and powerful," his mother, Deborah Castillo, said.

"We just really want to help the family out, but this is a little rare that this would happen," Officer Drobik said. 

KRQE News 13 spoke with Dominic Castillo's parents, Deborah and David, just months after police in Memphis discovered the 22-year-old's body. 

It was ruled a homicide, but there were never any arrests in the case. 

The family said Castillo was on a backpacking trip across the U.S. with his dog, Lily. 

They said he left Albuquerque, traveled to Oklahoma, then Arkansas, and just before they lost contact with him they knew he had made it to Memphis. 

What the family has learned since is that their son may have made plans to meet up with other backpackers. 

"He had made connections to meet with somebody or meet with people out there," his mother said. 

Deborah Castillo said she knows someone knows something about her son's murder. 

Even though the crime didn't happen here, Deborah said it can only help to have the news spread across the country. 

"Because he was traveling around so much he could be associated with the groups who travel around the country, and if these individuals come back to Albuquerque and we push this Crime Stoppers information out it may lead to more leads," Officer Drobik said. 

The family says the do plan to hold a fundraiser in order to raise more money. All of that will go back to the Crime Stoppers reward. They've also created a GoFundMe to help with the cause.

As for Castillo's dog, Lily, she was rescued, then adopted to a family in a different state. 

The family has been fighting ever since to get the dog back. 


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