San Diego

Suspect's Mugshot Released in North County Murder Case

Antonia Herrera's body was discovered on the side of a road in unincorporated Escondido on Jan. 12

Investigators have released the mugshot of the man accused of killing a young woman found dead last month on the side of a road in San Diego's North County.

Suspect Paul Castro, 27, a resident of Las Vegas, was taken into custody by homicide detectives with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He’s a documented gang member, authorities said.

Castro was an acquaintance of Antonia Herrera, 23, according to San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) Lt. Kenn Nelson.

Nelson said they met through mutual friends in Las Vegas.

Herrera's body was found on Jan. 12 on Champagne Boulevard in unincorporated Escondido, near Interstate 15.

Her manner of death was ruled a homicide, but her autopsy was sealed.

Nelson said Wednesday that investigators believe Herrera was shot to death inside a friend’s car as she was traveling back to San Diego from Las Vegas on Jan. 12. Castro was in that car, too.

“We do have that vehicle in our possession, and we will be processing it, based on search warrants that we have obtained for that,” Nelson said.

The lieutenant said investigators have not yet determined a motive for the murder.

Castro is believed to be the only suspect in the killing. Other people were in the car, but Nelson said they are not suspected in the shooting of Herrera.

"We believe Mr. Castro is solely responsible for her death," Nelson added.

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