Las Vegas man accused of murdering woman in Escondido caught

SAN DIEGO — A documented gang member was arrested in Las Vegas Wednesday on suspicion of murdering a 23-year-old woman found dead last month in a roadside ravine near Escondido, authorities reported.

Homicide detectives believe that Paul Castro, 27, shot Antonia Herrera of San Marcos while they were riding in a car on Interstate 15, then dumped her body down an embankment off the 27600 block of Champagne Boulevard, San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Kenn Nelson told reporters.

A person who lives in the rural area near Welk Resorts San Diego discovered Herrera’s body on Jan. 12.

The motive for the slaying — which allegedly occurred in front of two other men inside the vehicle, as the group was en route from Las Vegas to San Marcos — remains unclear, according to Nelson.

Nevada police have located the car in which Herrera is believed to have been killed, and it has been towed to San Diego to serve as evidence, Nelson said.

Castro, a Las Vegas resident, is awaiting extradition to San Diego to face a murder charge in the case, Nelson said.