Thursday, February 24, 2011


The police found the decomposing body of a Filipino-American woman inside her Washington DC apartment after friends and neighbors reported they hadn’t seen her for the past two months.

Grace Valera, executive director of the Virginia-based Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC), identified the woman as Xenia Castillo, said to be a naturalized American citizen.

She lived alone in a condominium apartment at the 5400 block of Connecticut Ave. NW.

Valera said the police found Castillo seated in a sofa chair and indications point she died of natural causes although an investigation is still ongoing.

Although the city has been largely spared the heavy snow that marked last year’s winter, DC has nevertheless been gripped by weeks of bitter cold.

The police investigation is trying to determine the exact cause of death.

Valera quoted Castillo’s Fil-Am neighbors as saying that they tried to check on her whereabouts but could not convince the building manager to open her apartment.

A friend who recently arrived from Manila held a duplicate key but they discovered that Castillo had changed her locks, prompting authorities to finally call in the police last week.

They are reportedly trying to contact Castillo’s mother who works in London.

Valera described Castillo as in her 50s and often shied away from Fil-Am gatherings.

“If you know of Filipino friends or neighbors who live alone, it would be good to reach out to them once in a while,” Valera appealed, “Most of them may have chosen to be on their own but a little encouragement for people to reach out could save lives.”

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