Local Cold Case Team Still Investigating 1983 Unsolved Murder
March 29, 2019
Yet another anniversary has arrived in the unsolved 1983 murder of a woman whose body was found near Cohoctah Township.
Today marks the 36th anniversary of the discovery of the body of 19-year-old Christina Castiglione. She was found near Fisher and Faussett Roads in the Oak Grove State Game Area. She was last seen alive in Redford in the Beech Daly and 5 Mile Road areas. No arrests have ever been made in her death, although through the years investigators have come close to what they thought would be a breakthrough only to be disappointed. Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy says they remain hopeful that one day the case will be solved. He tells WHMI they still have an active Cold Case Team that meets a couple times a week to work on this case and some other unsolved homicides. Murphy says the team is very vigilant about working, noting they are all volunteer, retired law enforcement officers that have really taken this case and others to heart and want to see them solved.
Castiglione's body was originally discovered by Ron Latilla and the circumstances by which Latilla was in the area were deemed suspicious early on. Latilla's brother owned property near the place where Castiglione was last seen alive and although he said he found the body while fishing and shooting in the woods, he had neither a rifle nor a fishing rod. However, a DNA test did not match him. Murphy says it is frustrating not only for the original officers that investigated the case but it’s also frustrating for the family. He says cops don’t take many cases personally because it’s their job but when there’s a homicide, it is personal and they want nothing more than to solve the case too. Murphy says the Cold Case Team is currently going over reports but also re-interviewing people they think might need to be re-interviewed. He says memories can change over time and as an investigation unfolds, there are new things you find out or maybe didn’t know or could be contrary to something else that was learned. Murphy says it’s good to go back and talk to people, see if they remember anything and shore up what might have been learned or discredit something that was said.
In past years, the Cold Case Team has also examined the possibility that Castiglione’s murder may have been the work of a serial killer, pointing to the case of Kimberly Louiselle, who was 16-years old and was hitchhiking home from Redford when she disappeared in 1982. Her body was found on state land at the Island Lake Recreation Area in Green Oak Township and she had also been sexually assaulted and murdered. Yet still, nothing definitive has been uncovered. Murphy noted that the good thing about the Castiglione case inparticular is that there was DNA obtained from the scene when her body was found. With the advancements of DNA technology, he says cold cases do get solved and they are really hopeful that will be the case here.
Tips can be offered through the Sheriff’s Office or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. (JM)