A dangerous fugitive eludes authorities in Northern California.

Mugshot of Antonio Castro

Mugshot of Antonio Castro

Suspect:

Gender: Male
DOB: 9/25/67
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 170 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
Defining Characteristics: Muscular build, right index finger is cut off at the knuckle, nicknamed “El Loco”
Remarks: He is known to have family in Orange County, California, and in Mexico

CASE DETAILS

Burnt remains of a car in the middle of the forrest

The burned out shell of the car he stole

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:

“He stabbed me multiple times, kicked me and left me on the floor. Went through my pockets for the keys. Took my car and left.”

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:

“Mr. Fadeff was beaten badly and shot twice. One of the worst cases our pathologist has ever seen.”

Police officer examining a boot print in the dirt

The police were in hot pursuit

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:

“There was nothing that led us to believe that he wouldn’t commit the same acts in his attempt to flee the area… There wasn’t anything rational about him, and it was difficult to pinpoint what he would do next. This guy had no feelings towards taking a human life to just get an automobile, just to provide himself transportation, to kill another human being.”

S.W.A.T. Team checking a passing freight train for signs of "El Loco"

S.W.A.T. teams checked the freight trains

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:

“Our fear level kept rising because we hadn’t had any reports on the movement of the suspect. We hadn’t been able to confirm whether he was still in the area or not. It became our concern that he had taken refuge in somebody’s home, holding them hostage or doing them harm.”

Man wading through a river in the middle of the forrest

Castro escaped into the wilderness

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.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season eight with Robert Stack and in season seven with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    None

    I am like 70% shore that I saw him when I was on my vacation in may of 2008. Near Phoenix Arizona at the HQ mall

    Reply

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous

    I’m about 90% positive I had a confrontation with him in front of my kids and wife and Smith River California right on the border of Brookings Oregon he was on foot and drinking a beer walking towards the highway 101 towards Crescent City California

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    Patrick

    Anybody? Just contact your local police if you have seen him before.

    Reply

  4. Avatar

    Patrick

    Has any of you ever seen that man before? He would be 48 years old, now. You must’ve seen him in either Orange County, California or in Mexico. If you have, you need to contact the police and tell them where he is, now.

    Reply

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