Ex-boyfriend faces murder charges for shooting death of Utah radio host Gabriela Castilla

Local News

Gabriela Sifuentes Castilla (GoFundMe)

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – Charges have been filed against the man who police say shot and killed 38-year-old Gabriela Sifuentes Castilla in October.

Police obtained evidence from 20 witnesses and brought charges against 36-year-old Manuel Omar Burciaga-Perea. Those charges include aggravated murder, obstructing justice, domestic violence in the presence of a child, and aggravated assault.

Around 1:21 a.m. on Oct. 17, Taylorsville Police were called to Castilla’s house because her boyfriend was arguing with her and would not leave the home. The couple had broken up multiple times over the course of their eight-month relationship due to Perea’s jealously, a witness told investigators.

During the argument, which was about Castilla dancing with another man at a party the couple went to, Perea went into Castilla’s bedroom to find the engagement ring he had given her. Castilla and her sister were able to get Perea out of the home, but he returned again around 1:35 a.m., still enraged.

When Perea returned to the home the second time, Castilla’s sister says he was holding a gun in his right hand when Castilla opened the door. As he pointed the gun at Castilla she extended her arms out and screamed “no, no, no” as she started falling backward.

Perea shot Castilla multiple times and even pointed the gun at Castilla’s sister, who ran to her own bedroom to wake her husband, according to charging documents. Detectives found seven shell casings at the scene during their initial investigation.

Castilla’s sister gave detectives multiple videos she took with her phone during the couple’s first argument. Castilla’s daughter also provided a statement identifying Perea as the person who was verbally arguing with Castilla.

When detectives conducted a search warrant on Perea’s home, they found an empty box for a 9 mm handgun, as well as 9mm ammunition.

Detectives executed a search warrant on Perea’s phone and found him active on Facebook Messenger around 1:13 the morning Castilla died. It was not activated again until the next day on Oct. 18 in Chihuahua, Mexico. Police are still searching for Perea, who abandoned all the property in his home that he hasn’t returned to since Oct. 17.

Investigators have requested a no-bail warrant for the arrest of Perea.

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