A dangerous fugitive eludes authorities in Northern California.
On July 23, 1994, a young man in a Chevy Suburban sped southbound along Interstate 5 in Shasta County, California. On his tail was Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Benson. Officer Benson had no idea he was following a very dangerous fugitive named Tony Castro—a Mexican national with a long rap sheet for violent offenses. Three days earlier, Castro had attacked a man named William Goulart while he was repairing a heating system:
Two days later, the burned out shell of William Goulart’s car was found 800 miles away in Washington state. The day before, just down the road, 72-year-old Mike Fadeff had been murdered in his farmhouse. According to Detective Ken Tiscornia of the Skagit County Sheriff’s Department, Tony Castro was the prime suspect:
Why was Mike Fadeff murdered? Apparently, for his gun collection and truck. Officer Benson kept Castro in his sights for about 10 miles and eventually trapped him in a cul-de-sac. An empty forest was off in the distance. As Officer Benson pulled behind him, Castro exited his vehicle and fled into the wilderness. Within an hour, Captain Ron Richardson of the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department led a manhunt in the rugged terrain of the Sacramento River Canyon:
In order to safely apprehend the fugitive, forty police units were dispatched. The highway patrol put extra squad cars on the interstate, trackers combed the Sacramento River and S.W.A.T. teams checked the freight trains that ran through the canyon. However, there was no sign of Antonio Castro. As nightfall approached, Captain Richardson was forced to pull the trackers out of the canyon. He could only hope that Castro would still be around the next day:
But Tony Castro continued to confound authorities. As far as anyone knows, he did not bother a soul that night. In the morning, he showed up in the small town of Lakehead, eight miles south of where the chase had begun. After purchasing a car for $200 dollars from a local woman, Castro was back on the road again. He managed to elude one of the largest manhunts in northern California history. The authorities feel very fortunate that no one was hurt during Castro’s flight through the Sacramento River Canyon. But they also fear that the next time Castro is cornered, he may lash out.
Antonio Magana Castro is wanted for murder and attempted murder. He was born in 1967 and is 5’7” tall with a muscular build. His right index finger is cut off at the knuckle, and his violent nature has earned him the nickname “El Loco.” He is known to have family in Orange County, California, and in Mexico.
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