Hobart, IN– “She was wearing an orange skirt and a tank top with orange and green stripes.” That was what 18-year old Engelico Castillo told the police on the night of June 16, when her 2-year old cousin, Jada Justice, went missing. Castillo said she went to a gas station in Gary and left Jada in her car-seat in the back seat of her unlocked vehicle while she went inside to purchase cigarettes and milk. When she returned, Jada was gone. Panic engulfed the child’s family, police, and surrounding community as they searched for the missing child. Other customers at the gas station told police they saw no one around Castillo’s car that night. Police brought dogs to aid in the search, but found no scent of Jada in the area. Police also sought the assistance of other agencies, including the F.B.I. as well as the U.S. Marshal’s Service. A day after her supposed disappearance, Jada was still missing, despite a massive search that spanned two neighboring cities and lasted more than 18 hours.
This was when police decided to call off the search and focus their attention on Engelica Castillo. Castillo said she immediately noticed Jada missing that night when she opened the front door on the passenger side of her car. She dropped her purchased items and ran back into the station to have the teller call the police. When she called Jada’s mother and informed her Jada was missing, Swiontek asked her if she checked the area or yelled out for Jada. Castillo told her, “No, I knew she was already gone.” When questioned by police, Castillo remained calm without emotion. She said she had cried and prayed all night for Jada’s return and didn’t have any tears left. When an officer showed her Jada’s picture and told her he didn’t believe her story, she became angry, slapped at the officer’s arm and picture, and said, “You are lying and don’t know what you’re talking about.” Again, the officer placed Jada’s picture in front of Castillo and she attempted to strike the officer in the face. Castillo was restrained for 30 seconds until she finally calmed down, and that was when she told the officer, “God is taking care of her. God is watching over her.” When Castillo’s 23-year old boyfriend, Timothy Tkachik, was questioned he was suffering from some serious second-degree burns to his face and arms that he said was due to his propane grill catching fire days prior to Jada’s disappearance. Investigators didn’t believe him either and the following story is what Tkachik said happened to little Jada.
After doing several lines of heroin with Castillo on the night of June 12, he and Castillo awoke around 11 a.m. the next day. Castillo went to check on Jada and he knew she was angry with Jada for soiling her pants because he could hear her yelling. Castillo began spanking Jada and pulling her hair and when Jada didn’t cry, she became even more angrier and hit her harder. Castillo slapped Jada causing the child to fall and hit her head on a table causing a small cut. Castillo then made Jada stand in the corner and left the room. She returned as soon as Jada began acting up again and began punching her in the head. Unable to stop the bitch, Tkachik went to another room to watch television. Around 7 p.m. that evening, Tkachik and Castillo planned to travel to someones house to purchase more heroin. Castillo got Jada ready and put her in Tkachik’s Tahoe. It was when they were on the highway that Tkachik realized Jada was not breathing. He jumped into the backseat and began performing CPR on her. Castillo pulled over, began screaming and crying, and tried to perform CPR on the child as well. When Tkachik realized Jada was dead, he told Castillo, “I told you to stop. I told you enough is enough.”
The couple returned home, parked in the driveway, covered Jada’s body with a car cover, and left her in the back seat. Then they got into Castillo’s car and headed back to the house to buy drugs and then to Chicago. When they returned that night, they checked on Jada. At first, they believed she was breathing and so Castillo once again tried giving her CPR. But Jada was dead, her tiny head was covered with several bruises and bumps, marks to tell the truth behind her brutal murder. Tkachik wrapped her body in 3 garbage bags, took her down to the basement, and then he and Castillo went to bed. They spent most of the next day trying to come up with ways to get rid of the body. Around 3:30 that afternoon, Tkachik placed Jada’s body in the back of his Tahoe and he and Castillo went to a Menard’s store in Michigan City where he purchased a metal garbage can. Tkachik then went to a gas station, purchased some charcoal, lighter fluid, and gas for a gas can he brought along. The couple headed to a wooded area in LaPorte County and it was there that they poured the gas and lighter fluid into a hole they had found. They dumped Jada’s body into the hole along with the charcoal. When Tkachik lit a piece of the charcoal bag and dropped it into the hole, it created an explosion which is the real explanation behind his burns. When the fire went out they discovered it had only burned the bags and Jada’s body could still be seen. They left her in the hole and drove back home to think of another plan.
The following morning, June 15, Tkachik grabbed three more garbage bags and the couple drove back to the wooded area to retrieve Jada’s body. On their way back home, they stopped again at the Menard’s and purchased a braided rope, four 50 lbs. bags of instant cement, a blue 20 gallon tote container with a lid, and a 600 lb. capacity dolly. At home, Tkachik took the items along with Jada’s body to the basement. He removed Jada’s body from the garbage bags and placed her in the tote along with the cement. Tkachik then poured water into the tote and used a space heater to dry the concrete. Once the cement was dry, Tkachik and Castillo loaded the tote into his vehicle, drove back to the same wooded area, and carried it to an area by a swamp. Tkachik then used a small saw to cut the tote from the cement because he knew their fingerprints were on it. They shoved the cement into the water where it eventually sank below the surface. The couple went back home, did some more heroin and went to bed. The following day was when Tkachik came up with the plan of saying Jada had been abducted. On June 25, Tkachik directed officers to Jada Justice’s watery grave. The cemented tomb was transported to the coroner’s office and it was there that Jada’s body was identified. Jada’s tiny skull had numerous fractures and the outfit she wore was the only thing her murderer told the truth about. Jada was dressed in an orange skirt and a tank top with orange and green stripes. Engelica Castillo and Tim Tkachik are now being held without bond in the Lake County Jail. They are both charged with murder, neglect of a dependent, battery and false informing. R. I. P. Little Jada Justice. May both of these worthless assholes rot in Hell for extinguishing the light from your innocent, yet, trustful eyes.
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