Marijuana collective searched in connection with crime spree

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Police said investigators believe that at least two people associated with the Tree House Marijuana Collective at 190 Commercial St. aided and abetted Paul Ray Castillo, 33, who was arrested in Sacramento Sunday in connection with carjacking, kidnapping and the murder of a Campbell woman.

Castillo began his alleged crime spree around 10 a.m. Friday at a Chevron gas station on Lincoln Avenue, where he allegedly approached a 42-year-old man while he was pumping gas and shot him during a robbery attempt, Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.

The victim was taken to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and is expected to survive.

Castillo then allegedly fled the scene in a Nissan 300Z that had been reported stolen nine days earlier. Police later found the car at The Plant shopping center at Monterey Road and Curtner Avenue, about a mile from the gas station.

There, he allegedly carjacked 60-year-old Cindy Nguyen around noon. A colleague said she had called her assistant from the area on Friday afternoon to ask for help jumpstarting her car battery, but that she had called back to say some people had come by to help her. That was the last time anyone heard from Nguyen.

Castillo wasn't seen again until six hours later, when police spotted his vehicle near a condo complex near Mabury and North King roads. An officer fired several shots at him after he allegedly tried to run over the officer, Dwyer said. He crashed the car and fled on foot and could not be located despite an extensive search.

Nguyen's car, a white 1997 Lexus, was found in the area.

Nguyen's body was found at 8 a.m. Saturday in a home in the 500 block of North 12th Street. Castillo has ties to that home, Dwyer said.

Officers searched for Castillo throughout the weekend, even using a grounded police helicopter, until they finally tracked him down in West Sacramento and took him into custody around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Castillo is being held without bail at Santa Clara County Jail on several charges, including parole violation, armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping. Dwyer said he was not booked on a homicide charge, but that it is likely he will also face a homicide charge once the police report is complete.

Castillo's criminal history includes domestic violence, carjacking and drug-related offenses, Dwyer said.

He is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday, according to Lisa McCrary, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

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