DNA links missing Houston woman to skull found 27 years ago

Earlier this month the remains of a woman found decades ago were finally identified as 21-year-old Patricia Ann Castillo. Now Houston police have a 27-year-old murder to solve.

“I mean she was young, she was 21. She had a family. And they just took her away from us for no reason,“ says Miranda Moreno, who was 5 years old when her sister vanished without a trace from her neighborhood in the Second Ward on June 1, 1991. “It’s hard, it’s very hard because you think your mind wanders. You wonder you know if she still alive, where she’s at, what happened to her?“ says Moreno.

Castillo, who was lovingly called “Gordie” despite her small stature, was last seen walking home from her grandmother’s house on Delmar Street. Some tips came in but all lead to dead ends, and left the family clinging on to their east Houston neighborhood, and their old telephone number. “I think that’s why we never left the neighborhood. We just stayed here because there was always a hope, a possibility that she’d come back.“

Eight months after Patricia Castillo went missing, the skull of a woman was found at an intersection near 900 Port Houston, but the connection would not be made until decades later. 

“My older sister Trina gave a DNA sample to NAMUS a year ago in 2017," Moreno says. "And they called her on August 13, 2018. The Harris County medical examiner, and they told her that they had a match with the remains at the Harris County Cemetery.“

A piece to the puzzle found, but opening up her case to many questions. Only Gordie’s skull was found, and it remains in an unmarked grave that is now surrounded with flowers and pictures in the Harris County Cemetery. The family keeping her memory alive, asking the public if they remember anything about their sister that may bring them justice to please contact the police.

“If they wanted to they could’ve said something, and they still can say something, but everybody says that they don’t know anything. I think that’s sad, you know that nobody wants to say anything,” says Moreno.

The road ahead for Gordie’s family won’t be easy. They need to deal with a lot of paper work to get her remains exhumed from the county cemetery so that they may have a proper funeral service and bury her next to her father.