Heartbroken mother of slain children speaks out about the Montgommery County court system

Amy Castillo’s three little children were drowned by their father in a Baltimore hotel bathtub last week when he had them on visitation.
After the father, Mark Castillo, had drowned the little children, one by one, he attempted suicide my swallowing Motrin tablets and stabbing himself in the neck with a steak knife. Apparently, he was more accomplished at murder than suicide, and his half-hearted attempt to kill himself failed. He has been charged with first degree murder.

Understandably, Mrs. Castillo takes little comfort from his arrest. She feels that the court system needs to better understand mental illness and her case is living testimony to this. Mark Castillo had been diagnosed with depression and had been invouluntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2006 after planning to kill himself.

One wonders why the courts could not take this into consideration when allowing him unsupervised visitation a short while later. It was not as if he had visibly turned his life around. According to the article in the Washington Post he was unemployed and having issues. his ex-wife described him as: “I think all around he was in trouble. I think he was getting more and more angry”.

We are often hired by clients to document the behavior of a parent. Sometime the client is an ex-spouse but quite often it is a concerned grandparent whose only motivation is love and wants to make sure the child(ren)comes to no harm. Many times the children are living in reckless situations and are lucky that their fate is not being left up to the courts and social servcies. While these authorities mean well, they do not often act in an expeditious manner such as in the Castillo case.

To parents we say: keep voicing your concerens until someone listens. If you have to go to a judge with a video of erratic or dangerous behavior or just the gut feeling of a parent, do not give up. Do everything you can and maybe your concerns will be heard and the slow bogged-down system will work for you.

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