HOUSTON – Mark Augustin Castellano, the Houston man who police said confessed to killing his girlfriend and burying her body in an Odessa-area oilfield, appeared in a probable cause court overnight. The details released in court early Tuesday were disturbing.
Castellano initially told investigators that 31-year-old Michelle Warner stormed out of the house after the two argued at their home in the 7200 block of Bellerive in southwest Houston on Saturday, September 22. He said he took his 3-year-old son to his family’s home in Odessa the next day and did not know where Warner was, but that explanation left many suspicious. Family and friends said the mother would never go days without contacting anyone.
After a few days, a missing person’s report was filed.
Loved ones searched desperately for any signs of Warner and Castellano even went to the “Dr. Phil” show to tape an interview about the case. But two days after that interview, Castellano finally confessed and told investigators what he had done.
Those details were read aloud in a Harris County courthouse on October 2.
“He was on video when he demonstrated how he killed her, and said he heard her neck snap,” an official read in court. “He also said he put a plastic bag on her head and tied it off.”
Castellano told investigators after killing Warner, he stuffed her body in a closet while he drove their son to his parent’s home. After leaving the boy with the grandparents, he drove back to take care of her remains.
Court records say Castellano loaded the body into a plastic container, then drove back to Odessa. He left the corpse in the backseat of the car parked outside his parent’s home for more than a day before driving out to Midland County and dumping it in a ditch. He told investigators where to look for her.
Authorities searched by foot, mounted patrols and helicopter before finding Warner’s body partially buried on private property.
“It’s still heartbreaking, but I’m happy her family has closure and that we have closure and hopefully there will be answers,” said family friend Becky Barclay. “I think she was a very special girl, and there are a lot of people that are going to miss her—especially her kids.”
Castellano was charged with murder and his bond was set at $150,000.
Warner’s little boy is safe with family in Houston.