SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — The grieving father of a young man whose body was found in Santa Monica said Monday that his son was his life.
The body of Juan Castillo was discovered around 5 a.m. Sunday in the 1300 block of 16th Street during the pouring rain, according to police.
They said the 18-year-old was shot in the head, and someone dumped his body about a half block from the UCLA Medical Center Santa Monica.
“I want some answers. But I haven’t heard anything. He was my life,” the victim’s father, Jorge Castillo, said as he tried to hold back tears.
Castillo was a popular All-Star football player at Santa Monica High School, where he graduated in June.
The victim’s older brother, Jorge Jr., rushed home from San Francisco State University to grieve with his family. “He was a popular kid. He knew kids from all groups,” he said. “It’s like a part of me is gone, and I am not getting it back.”
Other relatives and friends crammed into the family’s small apartment, where a shrine was set up to remember Castillo, to offer their condolences.
They reiterated that the victim was not a gang member. Police told CBS2’s Dave Lopez that they agreed.
After midnight Saturday, a shooting happened near a liquor store at 21st Street and Pico Boulevard.
Five hours later, Castillo’s body was found on 16th Street.
Investigators were trying to determine if Castillo was the one who was shot near that liquor store.
His family said he wanted to join the Marines to make his family proud.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help for Castillo’s funeral.
Anyone with information about the murder is urged to call Santa Monica police and ask for Detective D. Larios at (310) 458- 8937 or Detective B. Cooper at (310) 458-8478.