A man was arrested for allegedly beating his live-in girlfriend and her daughter to death with a hammer in their East Elmhurst home Monday after claiming they were witches, officials said.
Officers found Estrella Castaneda, 56, and Lina Castaneda, 25, inside of their 87th Street residence just after midnight with severe head trauma, police said. Both women were pronounced dead at the scene.
The victims were allegedly killed in their bedrooms, and a hammer was discovered near each woman, District Attorney Richard Brown said. Officers found Lina’s 7-year-old daughter unharmed on her mother’s bed.
Carlos Amarillo, 44, is currently being held pending arraignment on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and criminal possession of weapon, the district attorney said. If convicted, he faces life without parole.
Following the murders, Brown said, Amarillo allegedly called 9-1-1 and said “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.”
When cops arrived they allegedly saw him walking from the doorway to the street, carrying a Bible, saying, “I killed them, I killed them.”
In statements to police, Brown added, Amarillo said that he believed both of the victims were “witches and were performing voodoo and casting spells on him.”