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Victim’s Ex-Girlfriend Faces Obstruction Charge In Park Twp. Homicide

Park Township, Mich. — The ex-girlfriend of a homicide victim is now under arrest in Ottawa County for allegedly lying to police.

She’s being held on a million dollar bond in the Ottawa County Jail on a count of obstruction of justice, a four-year felony.

Jose Hernandez was found dead from blunt force trauma to the head in the parking lot of the apartment complex where he lived.

He was found on the ground, Monday, January, 6, covered in snow, while his car was still running beside him.

“She was untruthful and mislead us and openly lied about her activities,” said Captain Mark Bennett.

Investigators say MaryAnn Leal Castorena was arrested Thursday, January, 9.

She had been dating Hernandez until the two split up in the summer of 2013.

Castorena moved to California after the break-up.

Her 19-year-old son stayed behind, continuing to live with Hernandez.

He told FOX 17 Hernandez had been like a father to him.

Investigators say because Castorena was from West Michigan, she eventually moved back to Park Township with her new husband in late November.

She continued to be in touch with Hernandez when she returned.

“She certainly had contact with the victim,” said Bennett.

When questioned about activities that were happening around the time of the homicide, detectives said she was untruthful and was charged.

Court documents show that she’s accused of lying about, “a vehicle that may have been at the scene of a murder, and/or….” (her) “whereabouts when the murder was committed.”

Neighbors say they saw a tow truck come to her home off 144th Street in Park Township the day after her arrest.  They said the operator removed a pick-up truck from her garage.

“She continues to be a suspect in this homicide,” said Bennett. “I’m not able to discuss what role she played, only to tell you she’s been untruthful.”

He said, “…at least a few key points in those interviews, she blatantly lied.”

Although they can’t discuss it fully, officials say they’re closing in on a motive and there could be other suspects in this case.

“Other suspects are still possible,” said Bennett.

If convicted of the obstruction charge, Castorena could face four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Anyone who may have seen or heard anything at Amberwood Apartments Sunday night is asked to call the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department at (616) 738-4000 or Silent Observer (877) 88-SILENT.

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