Woman Found Shot to Death in Car in Columbia (Update)

Police say the woman had just moved to the area.

Howard County Police are asking for help after a woman was found shot to death in a car in Columbia Saturday, according to a statement released by police. 

Someone called police at about 9 a.m. after seeing a woman who “appeared to be injured” in a car on the 9600 block of Basket Ring Road, according to police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn. 

When police arrived, they found Deborah Castellano, 47, dead with multiple gunshot wounds in a Toyota Corolla parked in parking lot, according to Llewellyn. 

Police say they think Castellano had recently moved to the area and was living in the apartment building near where she was shot.

Investigators do not yet have a suspect or a motive and are asking anyone with information to call at 410-313-STOP. Callers may remain anonymous

Police are offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information about the shooting. 

This article has been updated to include the victim's name and the police reward.

Robin L. Brodkin May 09, 2013 at 10:36 PM
I agree 100%
bree leon May 10, 2013 at 11:48 AM
We need howard county (Columbia) to be the peaceful town I grew up in just a few short years ago. And we can start by getting all these people who cant afford to live here out. Stop accepting section 8 and food stamps.. most of these people come straight out of the ghetto and don't bother informing their children that they don't have to be so "hard" anymore. I blame welfare for the downfall of Columbia especially in the Wilde Lake/Oakland Mills/ Long Reach area.
Renae Pilok May 10, 2013 at 09:18 PM
All of Debbies friends and family in NY just would like to have the person responsible caught. Please if anyone has any useful information use the number in the above article and help us get closure. Debbie was the sweetest, most honest person you ever met. She always had a nice word for everyone. The most beautiful smile. She was the best mother to Bianca and Micheal. She was a diehard Lakers fan....and now suddenly she's gone and we, her friends and family are left with huge ache where our hearts used to be so please....help us if you can. Help us get justice for our beautiful angel Debbie Castellano
Brandie Jefferson May 11, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Renae, we are so sorry for your loss. Let us know if there's anything we can do to help. brandie @ patch.com
Robin L. Brodkin May 13, 2013 at 05:51 PM
If you have paid attention to this forum those with any common sense have talked about the idea that it seems that this may be a personal crime due to the number of gun shots. The village associations do meet with community members when they express a desire. I've seen it plenty of times. In Oakland Mills we now have a police satellite office, security at the apartment complexes, security at the village center, a community liaison in the village center. And there was just a major arrest of gang members. As for Neighborhood Watch groups, the police would be more than happy to meet with a group of your neighbors to talk about what it entails. Just call and ask. You can even ask about anti-theft programs for your car. They do their jobs but they need our help too. They can't be all places 24-7-365.
Robin L. Brodkin May 13, 2013 at 05:55 PM
They caught the person and I feel like there are a lot of judgemental people on here who owe others an apology for that attitude. Especially the family. May you know that my prayers have been with you all along and will continue to be.
Dave A. May 13, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Oakland Mills has the Highest Violent Crime Percentage in Columbia and the Highest number of Gang Members in Columbia. It has been this way since the late 90's! Peaceful? I think not... I will repeat myself here : People need to buy a scanner and listen to the police activity in this county! While the entire county has seen an increase in not only petty theft type crime, violent crimes have risen as well. This thing happens more and more each year. You would be suprised as to how crime stats are actually recorded! Wake up, we are living in the beginning of the New Wild West!
Columbia Independent May 13, 2013 at 07:32 PM
I support the idea that Howard County crime needs to go down, but you seem to be making things up. Entire county has seen an increase in crime? 2012 we had 197 violent crimes (per 100k people); 2011 we had 204; 2010 we had 566; 2009 we had 751. Just read some recent articles on it, and you'll see that there are decreases. Not to mention, Howard County still is lower crime than a number of other counties. Also, I believe we have a higher clearance rate on major crimes, especially murder, than other counties. What's changed is that modern media constantly bombards us with crime reports, so we're finally aware of how often it really does happen. That being said, these numbers are still too high. Until we can get them as far down as possible, given the nature of the human animal, there's plenty of work to do.
Truthful May 13, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Col Ind, I think your a little confused on the accurate points being made here! howard County is anywhere from the 3rd to 5th weathiest counties in the United States and columbia's belief was to bring together "financial" classe in hopes that the wealthy would understanf the plight of the poor and the poor may be able to benefit from those that are successful. Crime comes primarily from the lowest income levels in this county as I'm sure it does in every community. So these people that were brought here as part of the liberal feel good idea of rouse has failed. Also please understand that many of these numbers are lower because of how they now catagorize different crimes today compared to how they did just 3 to 5 years ago!
Michelle fischer May 13, 2013 at 08:09 PM
This murder, the one about my dear friend, who had left us to move to your community, is about HER, not your.area. However, reading these posts make me sad that no one seems to agree that more is neaded there than just this conversation. If this area is as crime riddled as you all say, than as a community you must all do more to clean it up. Debbie's killer was not amongst any of your areas, he came from out of state to wield his horror, but from the sounds of "not surprised" frightens me, as it should all of you! May God help you all find the strength needed to stop what has become an everyday occurence and make you community safe and strong against criminals amongst you.
Truthful May 13, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Ms. Fischer. Sorry for the loss of your friend. I'm not sure if this community is riddled with crime, I believe the frustration is that we have consciously and intentionallly imported folks from areas riddled with crime and now they are commiting it here. As you seem to have said, " Debbie's killer was not amongst any of your areas, he came from out of state to wield his horror" This is what is so infuriating to so many!
GalFromBrooklyn May 14, 2013 at 09:40 PM
In 1985 when I moved to Howard County from Baltimore County, a police officer that knew my husband told him to buy in Ellicott City not Columbia...that there was a lot of crime in Columbia. I have lived in Ellicott City since 1985 (I am a Brooklyn, NY transplant) and I will say I have heard a few things here and there with regard to crime but nothing like what goes on in Columbia.
Truthful May 14, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Ryan Patrick Matthias is the guy they suspect came up from N.C, to murder Ms. Castellano! Here is a link! http://www.wbaltv.com/news/maryland/howard-county/police-man-wanted-in-columbia-homicide-arrested-in-north-carolina/-/10137848/20124688/-/9qlafrz/-/index.html
Mr. Drew May 15, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Well, I'm sure this Matthias character must have lived in Section 8 housing in North Carolina.
Truthful May 15, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Is their something seriously wrong with you? People that produce the jobs and wealth in columbia will begin to flee in greater numbers and they will be replaced with more illegals and criminals from the city! The vast majority of crime in this area is from the lower income people. Thats reality. Let me see if I can fulfill your liberal mentality..... He was a black man living off of a white women so he didn't need section 8!
Robin L. Brodkin May 15, 2013 at 06:42 PM
I definitely agree with what you have said C.S. Lewis. Not many people touched on the fact that a woman lost her life in a tragic manner but ranted about what they thought the problem was. Unfortunately, I was not any better as I was constantly reacting to what others said and forgetting the main point. Thanks Thanks for putting it so incredibly well!!
Robin L. Brodkin May 15, 2013 at 06:46 PM
I think you're the only one who truly thought of the victim. GOD BLESS YOU and AMEN to your prayer.
Truthful May 15, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Its difficult for dems like c.s. to connect the dots. The rouse dream was to bring economically & racially different folks together. The organization agressively & consistently encouraged, paid for and subsidized inner city people to move to columbia. Columbia was also a haven for small business mom & pop shops, but as crime rose and the communities became even poorer & more subsidized, those smaller businesses could not maintain and left only to be filled by the big chain box stores. The great village centers are strife with shoplifting. The supermarkets were crushed by this crime. This has unfortunately contributed to even greater crime and less community sense and even greater numbers of subsidies. Now including a requirement for any builder to have a percentage for low income. His dream didn't work because it couldn't work. It couldn't work because you don't change people that come from crime filled areas by bringing them to the "nice areas" and that tends to be regardless of color! Also this article was about a murder in columbia, it was not about Ms. Castellano.
Truthful May 15, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Most people will tell you that crime has greatly increased in Columbia and anyone that believes different has their head in the sand. Just visit any of the village centers and you will understand quickly that they are not the Centers of the past. The frustrating part is not that columbia has better crime numbers or that it is no different than any where else, it's that our governing bodies are the ones bringing the criminals here by paying for them to live here. Go sit in landlord court and here about all the convictions in apartment communities of the people nonly required to pay $600 for a $1300 apartment and they're still not paying! This piece of crap that murdered this women was not from columbia and I only know a little bit about what was going on, but this brought out many emotions of those that are fearful of the future here.
Robin L. Brodkin May 15, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Thank you for reporting the numbers Columbia Independent.
Robin L. Brodkin May 15, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Mr. Drew and Truthful her killer killed her because of. Domestic violence. That has absolutely NOTHING to do with economic, racial, or Social status. It's ABUSE AND CONTROL related. The sad thing is he followed her to MD. Probably where she came to get away from him--I guessing. Don't let your hate of the poor misinformation you.
Mr. Drew May 15, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Robin, I was being sarcastic. I lived in Baltimore City for nearly 20 years before I moved to Howard county.
Truthful May 15, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Again. People started posting here from many view points not because they knew Ms. Castellano or were only concerned with MURDER. People are responding to crime as a whole. I've lived here a long time and I remember when the village centers were not fully surrounded by subsidized housing and they were much safer and family friendly. They were filled with small business anchored by 1 maybe 2 large corp stores. The reality is that crime has driven small biz out and unfortunately the vast majority of the crime is from section 8 housing occupants. Thats reality. Thats not hating poor just like saying it's mainly minority driven isn't racist. It's just reality right now! Domestic violence is not a color thing! Again this was a county with almost zero crime and one of the protests to having columbia and its stated mission being built here was the crime issue. Again unfortunately what many felt would happen, has!
C.S. Lewis May 16, 2013 at 03:59 PM
I suspect I am being goaded by teenage trolls (judging by the poor grammar and willful ignorance). Yet, unTruthful continues the false assumptions and gross generalizations about crime, criminality, failure of Rouse's "dream", and has decided my political affiliation is also obvious because I expressed the opinion that jumping to conclusions is inappropriate and foolish. Let me just say that you don't know me and you don't have anything figured out. I'm amazed that this thread is still so active considering the police have a suspect in custody, and the theory of the crime elegantly disputes just about all of the nonsense which has been spewed over the past week or so. I hope that the swift actions of law enforcement, and the personal nature of this terrible crime, would persuade intelligent people to abandon the notion that this has anything to do with public housing, the Rouse Dream, criminal "outsiders", or national politics. It is ridiculous that an (alleged) isolated crime of passion can be used to illustrate a paradigm of life in our community. I accept that criminality is an important subject for discussion. However, we should appreciate the fact that crime IS rare in HC, despite rapid population growth over the past few decades. Anyone who is fearful for their safety or future in such a vanilla suburb, and has nothing constructive to add to our dialogue, should probably find another place to live. Possibly on another planet?
dwb May 16, 2013 at 04:19 PM
its unfortunate that people jumped to conclusions on this, but HoCo just saw its third murder. The fact is, i feel crime is underreported and is on the upswing. Statistically, crime happens in low income high poverty pockets. HoCo is not baltimore by any stretch, but politicians in annapolis are more concerned with protecting criminals, and regulating citizens and putting more fingerprints in a database. It makes it that much harder to work your way up when annaapolis is selling false solutions. Why we keep electing these people expecting different results i dont know.
s scott May 16, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Thank you Linda for speaking my mind. I agree with you 100% and I have been a Columbia resident for over 28 years.
Truthful May 16, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Come now cs lewis, resorting to grammer correction is some what elitist! I bet most of those section 8ers have bad grammer but you seem to be in denial about all of this. The reason I assume you to be an elitist liberal is your desire to deny obvious truths and your inability to understand that "good" people can except that crime in the "minority" community is terrible and here in columbia, the rise in crime is directly proportional to the rise in subsidized housing. And the real reason we haven't had a massive crime increase is because we are a very very wealthy county that spends fortunes being proactive in the criminal community. BTW, I have teenagers! No one in any thread I have read blamed this murder on subsidized housing. I for one believed from the beginning that this was "domestic". If you read these posts most have responded to this because of the crime situation that has them concerned. This murder was a reminder. But its funny because the guy that murdered this women definitly fits the subsidy criteria and you'd know that if you did a little research. BTW I am not talking about the fact that he is black!
C.S. Lewis May 21, 2013 at 12:47 PM
I am not sure why 'elitist liberal' is a pejorative term. [Is that the opposite of a 'low-life conservative'?] An informed citizen in a democracy is able to understand and effectively communicate complex ideas to others through the use of language. If it is your desire to add something productive to the discussion here, you should take that seriously. That isn't elitist, it's an expectation that adults have. You and I might actually agree more than you realize, but your inability to read or write is making you sound completely ignorant. For instance, you wrote: "But its funny because the guy that murdered this woman..." I'm sorry, I don't see the humor in murder. Maybe it's my fault for overlooking the fact that English isn't your first language, but you certainly write as if you are functionally illiterate and willfully ignorant. I encourage you to stay in school.
Truthful May 21, 2013 at 02:12 PM
"liberal elitist" is exactly what you are. We do not have any of the same beliefs. You may have similar outcomes at times, but your core beliefs are of a "elitist liberal". And it is not only meant as negative but descriptive of your mindset. I've been out of school for over 30 years and make no attempt to feel superior by my command of grammar and or spelling. Actually, I take great pride in having been successful enough to have paid kids like yourself, to check my basics! Yeah I think its very funny that one of the "liberal elitists" made it a point to say, "Ha, he isn't from the columbia section 8 areas." But he was from a different section 8 and he was a black man that at one point was living off a white women. You need to get some air into that basement, it's killing your ability to understand truths. Now to another funny thing. I noticed you never dispute any facts and turn to correcting engles! I believe you have cried mercy!
Columbia Independent May 21, 2013 at 02:53 PM
C.S., talking to "Truthful" is like talking to the idiot wearing a tinfoil hat. The only "truth" they have is spouting whatever their paranoid, egocentric, narcissistic views are. (Careful, though, if you use big words like that; an educated lexicon is sign that you're an elitist and part of the Liberal conspiracy). Anyone who disagrees with them on ANYTHING must be the opposition and deserving of labels and negative comments. You'd have better chance having an intelligent conversation with a storefront mannequin. Of course, I blame Reagan and his approach to mental health; people like "Truthful" wouldn't be on here if they hadn't been released into the rest of the population due to budget cuts.


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