Brother pleads for witnesses of deadly beating to come forward

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VISTA, Calif. -- A brother and authorities Thursday urged anyone who may have witnessed a brawl outside a Vista convenience store last spring that left a 33-year-old man with severe head injuries, leading to his death, to come forward with information.

The victim's brother Elizer Castro said he last talked to his brother around 10:30 a.m. – hours before the fight.

Francisco Castro

Francisco Castro

“[Francisco] said he was going to go out with friends to hang out – that’s all we know. He never gave us a name – none of that,” Eliezer Castro said.

Late on the afternoon of May 6, deputies responding to a fight involving a group of men found Francisco Castro lying unconscious on a sidewalk in front of a 7-Eleven store in the 900 block of North Santa Fe Avenue, according to sheriff's officials and Crime Stoppers. Investigators said he was fatally injured when the back of his head hit the ground.

Castro was comatose and on life support until his death from complications of his injuries on Nov. 9, authorities said.

“I visited my brother every single day in the hospital. I was hoping he was going to wake up, say something to me. I was hoping one day I would go in there and he’d be like ‘Hey brother, how are you doing?’ But it never happened. It was hard,” Elizer Castro said.

Homicide detectives investigating the circumstances surrounding Castro's death believe there are witnesses who have yet to come forward. At least three men were seen with the victim shortly before the altercation and one or more juveniles were walking in the area.

Francisco Castro (left) and the two other men may have witnessed the fatal beating, according to San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Francisco Castro (left) and the two other men (center and right) may have witnessed the fatal beating, according to San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities asked anyone who witnessed the fight or knows someone who did to call the sheriff's department at 858-974-2321, or to contact Crime Stoppers' anonymous tip line at 888-580-8477 or via email at sdcrimestoppers.org.

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