Only on WDHN: Desmond Castillos’ grandmother seeks public support 3 years after baby’s murder


DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The grandmother of a Dothan infant authorities say was murdered by his own father is pleading for the public’s support.

Three years have past since 3-month-old Desmond Karl Castillo was killed. Now his grandmother says his memory is starting to slip from Wiregrass residents’ minds.

On January 2, Dothan police rushed to 134 Coral Lane after they received a call about a baby not breathing. After being raced to Flowers Hospital, three-month-old Desmond died. Medical examiners later determine his death was due to blunt force trauma to the head and torso.

Three months later, police charged Desmond’s father, Rolando Castillo, Jr. In his child’s death. It was a story that shocked the Wiregrass.

“Used to when I would get out and mention Desmond, everybody knew who it was,” said Desmond’s grandmother Karen Nolen.

But now, nearly three years later, Karen says Desmond and his fight for justice are being forgotten.

“I’m seeing now, when I mention Desmond, ‘who’s that?’,” Nolen said.

Although Desmond has been gone for nearly three years, his case is far from over. His accused killer remains in the Houston County Jail with a capital murder charge and no bond. Karen says that’s not enough.

“Desmond got the death penalty and he was three months old,” Nolen said. “So, yes, nothing less.”

But regardless of what happens with the case, Karen says she has just one goal:

“I want his memory I want people to remember him help me to remember him and keep his memory alive,” Nolen told WDHN. “I won’t let it go. We’re going to remember Desmond. When we say Desmond, ‘oh I know who he is.’ I will not let his memory die.”

At this time, there isn’t any scheduled trial date for Castillo.

WDHN will continue updating this story as information becomes available.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story listed the date of Desmond’s death as Jan. 28. The date has been changed to reflect the correct date.

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