GPD says they never stated that Castro’s body was dumped in the ocean

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GPD Chief Stephen Ignacio conducts a news conference on the discovery of Michael Castro's body. (PNC photo by Don Sulat)

= No official confirmation yet, but GPD believes body found was that of murdered Michael Castro

= Chief Ignacio also wouldn’t confirm or comment on reports that Troy Ryan Damian, the second suspect in the Michael Castro murder case, was earlier at the scene of the recovery of the remains and may have led police to the body as part of a plea deal.

= The GPD Chief did confirm that the human remains were found inside a container.

 

The Guam Police Department held a news conference Wednesday afternoon announcing that they believe the body of murdered Michael Castro has been found.

“There’s a big development in the investigation,” GPD chief Stephen Ignacio announced. “And based on all the information that we’ve received today, we strongly believe that the human remains that we recovered today in the Yigo area are those of Mr. Michael Castro.”

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Ignacio qualified his statement, saying that there is still no official confirmation, pending an examination of the remains to be conducted by forensic pathologists who will be flown in from Hawaii.

“I’ve already discussed this matter with the Attorney General and the chief prosecutor. And arrangements are being made to fly in a chief medical examiner or forensic pathologist from Hawaii within a reasonable amount of time. We expect the forensic pathologist hopefully within the week, if not the next couple of weeks, so that we can do the forensic examinations on the human remains that we found for both the Messier and Castro case,” the GPD chief said.

He added that the investigation continues to be active and GPD officers are still at the scene where the body was found.

Ignacio also thanked the Guam Fire Department for assistance in helping recover the human remains, especially considering the terrain where the body was found. The GPD chief, however, wouldn’t go into specifics of what the terrain was or whether the area where the body was recovered was government or private property.

When asked whether this latest development contradicted previous testimony that Michael Castro’s body was dumped into the ocean, Chief Ignacio had this to say:

“No, we’ve never made any statements to that effect. That’s why we always go through the investigative process because we want to make sure that before we release information that information is true, is factual, and can be backed up.”

Chief Ignacio also wouldn’t confirm or comment on reports that Troy Ryan Damian, the second suspect in the Michael Castro murder case, was earlier at the scene of the recovery of the remains and may have led police to the body as part of a plea deal.

The GPD Chief did confirm that the human remains were found inside a container drum.

When asked how GPD can believe that the body found was that of Castro without the benefit of formal, official forensic examination, Chief Ignacio said GPD has a reliable process that they go through.

“If it requires DNA, then, of course, we work with the family to get any samples and compare those DNA samples with the remains. There are different ways … it could be DNA, it could be dental … if the body is still intact to some degree, it could be fingerprints. There are multiple ways that we do for identification,” the GPD chief said.

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