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Child sexual assault suspect in McLennan County jail connected to 17-year-old murder case

Authorities said DNA led them to Andy Castillo, 17 years after the murder of a woman in Lubbock.
Credit: Texas DPS
Andy Castillo

WACO, Texas — A man arrested in McLennan County on child sexual assault charges was later charged with the murder of a woman in Lubbock 17 years ago.

Andy Castillo, 57, was charged with the murder of Cynthia Joann Palacio after a combined investigation by the Texas Rangers and the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

DPS said a recent alert in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) led investigators to Castillo.

“One of our duties in law enforcement is to pursue every lead and seek justice for victims and their families, even when the case runs cold,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “I’m proud of the diligent efforts by the Texas Rangers and the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office to solve this nearly two-decade-old case and find justice for a young woman who was brutally murdered.”

Palacio was found on a rural road in southeast Lubbock County on July 15, 2003, partially nude and strangled. Her last known whereabouts were unknown. Palacio is survived by a daughter who was 2-years-old at the time of her death.

Credit: Texas DPS
Cynthia Joann Palacio

The investigation into Palacio’s death has been linked to another homicide — the April 2004 killing of Linda Trevino Carbajal, which remains under investigation, DPS said. Carbajal, who was 21 years old, was found strangled on a rural road in northern Lubbock County with blunt force injuries.