Police in Houston are searching for clues to determine why a Houston mother disappeared this weekend after an argument with her ex-boyfriend, who then left town with their 3-year-old son.
Michelle Warner, 31, was last seen Saturday night at her apartment complex in Houston where she lived with her estranged boyfriend, Mark Castellano, and son Cayden. She disappeared the same night Castellano took the boy more than eight hours away to be with relatives.
Mark Castellano told authorities that he and Cayden headed to Odessa, Texas, Saturday after the argument and Warner stormed out of their apartment, which he rented, officials said.
Family members and friends say Warner's cellphone has been off since the weekend and that it is unlike her to disappear from her home without her car as her boyfriend described.
Stefanie Helton, who has been Warner's best friend for more than 20 years, said the relationship between Warner, who had been working as a paralegal, and Castellano has "never been a good situation."
She said the two met when the three of them were working together at home health-care service provider Quality Infusion Care.
Helton said the couple were "barely dating at the time" Warner became pregnant in 2008, and that Castellano had "psychotic spells."
"He had episodes, he tried suicide ...," she said. "He's done other crazy things. Nothing extra-violent; he's push her up against the wall, that type of thing. He's threatened her."
Helton said that a family member of Warner's told her that Castellano said that they'd gotten into argument Saturday, and that he got mad and threw a pet cat against a wall. The family member told Helton that Castellano said Warner then became irate and hit him, before leaving the apartment.
Helton said bleach stains leading from the bedroom, through the living room and out front door were found in the apartment, although Officer Danny Do of the Houston Police Department said that could not be verified.
When police visited the apartment, Do said, they did notice that Warner's computer's central processing unit was missing.
Officer Do said Castellano told police that he had taken the CPU of the computer so he could get some information from it.
Do said Castellano has been cooperative with police, and that they spoke with him this morning. "This is still a missing-person case; we don't have any other evidence at this time," Do said.
He added that the Houston Missing Persons Department has spoken with the Homicide Department about the case.
Eric Moore, the shop manager at Sugar Land PC in Houston where Castellano worked, said that as of last week, he was no longer employed there.
Texas EquuSearch, an organization dedicated to searching for missing people, has joined in the hunt for Warner.
Warner is 5-foot-6, weighs around 125 pounds and has blue eyes and dark-brown hair. She has a dolphin tattoo on the backside of her shoulder and small butterfly tattoo on one foot.