Police in Chesterfield County are questioning a suspect in the murder of a local woman which occured earlier this month, sources tell WHSV 5.
Susana Castillo-Mendez, a 23-year-old woman, was found dead in her Midlothian apartment residence on March 13, sending shock waves through the normally quiet apartment complex. She died from blunt-force trauma injuries, the coroner’s office said.
Officials told WHSV News, 28-year-old Roberto Johnson is wanted for questioning in the murder of Castillo-Mendez.
Johnson was reportedly Susana’s boyfriend up until several months before her death.
“She was very closed off about her relationship with him, so I don’t know a lot of the details about their relationship, but in her own words she would say our goods are really good, but our bad’s are really bad,” Clair Smith, a friend of Susana, told WHSV 5. “Eventually the constant trouble between them got too much, and she called it off.”
Smith said the couple has been in an on and off again through 2008 before ending it towards the end of the year.
Chesterfield police previously said they didn’t believe Castillo-Mendez’ murder was a random act. Now, a neighbor tells WHSV 5 residents of the apartment complex have been questioned about “a suspicious man” that had been reported to the apartment’s security office weeks before the murder. An unnamed neighbor reported that police took descriptions of the man and then showed photographs of a suspect to see if that was who was seen. A bulletin leak has revealed that the man in question was Roberto Johnson.
Detectives also seized surveillance video from the apartment building, according to an employee there.
Chesterfield police chief has said that they are pursuing several avenues of interest. One early possible suspect reportedly had harassed and sent Susana threatening messages on an online support group for depressed and suicidal individuals. He says an update on the case is imminent in the next 24 hours.
Those who knew Susana Castillo-Mendez say she was a kind and gentle woman who had been battling depression and anxiety. In 2004 Susana was hospitalized for an attempted suicide. Since then Susana has been an outspoken supporter of mental health awareness.
So far no arrests have been made in the murder case. No other information was immediately released.