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Mother beheaded in front of her children on Silicon Valley street identified

27-year-old Karina Castro and the suspect were in a relationship, and authorities say there was a history of complaints and domestic violence incidents at the household.

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Joshua Young Youngsville North Carolina
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The young mother who was beheaded in the middle of a San Carlos, California street in the early afternoon on Thursday as her children watched has been identified as 27-year-old Karina Castro.

The New York Post reports that Castro, who worked as a Door Dash driver, continued to see suspect Jose Raphael Solano Landaeta despite a history of complaints and domestic violence incidents at the household. 



Castro was the mother of a 1 year old and a 7 year old, the younger of which was fathered by the 33-year-old suspect, who goes by Rafa Solano.

Local news reports that Karina Castro's father, Marty Castro, said, "Every time I saw her, I would beg her. Don’t talk to him. Leave him and it seemed like the more I did that, the more she would see him."

Castro's family said that Solano did not work but was instead an aspiring rapper. Castro's grandmother claimed Solano would say he was a schizophrenic "on meds" and "he would use that as an excuse for his behavior. He drank excessively and you're not supposed to do that on those kind of medications."

At the time of the decapitation the children, two girls, were saying they "want their mom." The deceased mother had been granted a temporary restraining order against Solano in April.

Child Protective Services (CPS) took the two kids into custody and officials also removed a dog and two cats from the home.

The decapitation happened near Laurel Street and Magnolia Avenue in San Carlos, which is located in California's Silicon Valley. Police deputies were flagged down around 11:50 am about a domestic violence incident and reports were coming in around 12:15 pm of the woman's head being chopped off and of the children on scene. Solano was arrested after he returned to the scene.

The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office said that they are still looking for the weapons, which they believe to resemble a "samurai sword."

"Anytime someone loses their life, it's certainly a tragedy," San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Lt. Eamonn Allen said of the incident. "As far as the shocking nature of it, I do know that the deputies that first arrived on scene were a little beset by the scene. We are providing them peer support. We are also providing support for the witnesses that were on scene as well because there were several civilian witnesses."

According to local ABC news, neighbor Chapele Thorborne said, "The head was underneath the car and she was laying in the back of the car- just severed. And they covered her up."

"It was kind of a shock, you know. This is a nice neighborhood. So, it’s a shock," Thorborne added.

NBC Bay Area reports that Solano " has an extensive, violent criminal past and a history of mental illness."
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