ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- An accused sexual assault suspect was booked into the Ector County Law Enforcement Center Wednesday following his arrest in Potter County; it was an arrest many years in the making in a case that had gone cold. Now, an affidavit has revealed new information into the investigation and arrest of Javier Francis Castillo-Arias, of Amarillo.
According to an Odessa Police Department report, on October 8, 2015, officers responded to the area of E 91st Street and Rainbow to investigate a stranded vehicle stuck in the mud. At the scene, officers met with a victim, identified only as M.L., who said she’d met a man known only as “Javier” at Torino’s Bar the night before.
M.L. said when she left the bar, she saw “Javier” sitting in a red Dodge Challenger in the parking lot and approached his vehicle to chat. She said she rode around the block with the man but then returned to the parking lot, where they parted ways.
Later that evening, M.L. said she ran into “Javier” again, this time at a 7-11. Inside the store, “Javier” reportedly asked the victim for a ride home, and she agreed. When they arrived at his home, “Javier” allegedly asked the victim inside for a drink, and again, she agreed.
M.L. told investigators that the next thing she remembered was waking up inside her vehicle which was stuck in the mud. She also said the shirt and underwear she’d worn that night were missing and she had bruises on her ankles and other pains. She realized she’d been raped and called 911.
The victim was taken to Midland Memorial Hospital where a Sexual Assault Nure Exam was completed, and DNA was collected. Initially, that DNA did not match any suspect on file and the case went “cold”.
However, investigators later learned that when the DNA was entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), it matched similar cases in other jurisdictions with the same unknown DNA profile.
On July 7, 2023, the case was reopened by OPD in partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. From there the Texas Rangers researched the phone number the victim had provided for the suspect and was shown to have once belonged to Castillo-Arias.
Further, investigators discovered that on November 30, 2015, the Midland Police Department filed a burglary report in which the suspect was identified as Castillo-Arias. In that report, MPD investigators stated that Castillo-Arias drove a red Dodge Challenger, which matched the suspect vehicle identified by M.L.
A criminal history check showed Castillo-Arias to be on parole in Amarillo. On August 7, Castillo-Arias was administered a court-ordered drug test in Potter County, and he discarded his drug test sample in the trashcan. That discarded sample was then collected by a Texas Ranger and sent to the DPS lab in Lubbock where it was processed and compared to the DNA profile from the SANE kit; on August 29, the lab reported that the sample was a match to the DNA on file.
Castillo-Arias was arrested in Potter County on September 12 and was transferred to the detention center in Ector County on September 20. He remained in custody as of Thursday afternoon; his bond has not yet been set.
OPD said it will continue to assist with investigations regarding this suspect in other jurisdictions.