Police Locate Fernando Castro, Engage in Shootout and Kill Him; Pearl Pinson Still Missing

By Andrew Simontacchi
Andrew Simontacchi
Andrew Simontacchi
May 27, 2016 Updated: May 27, 2016

New information from the Solano County Sheriff’s Office states that the wanted suspect in the missing Pearl Pinson case, Fernando Castro, has been shot and killed by authorities.

The car 19-year-old Castro was believed to be traveling in was spotted in San Luis Obispo County. California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office responded, chased the vehicle, and engaged in a shootout with Castro.

He fled the shooting in his gold 1997 Saturn and ran into a residential area, entering a mobile home. The woman occupying the mobile home was quickly exited to safety, but Castro slipped out of the home and stole the woman’s truck, firing at authorities upon driving away.

They returned fire, striking and killing Castro.

The Solano County Sheriff’s Office statement, released at around midnight on May 27, states 15-year-old Pinson has not been found—but says the sheriff’s office has received “many” tips regarding her whereabouts and are following all leads.

At around 9:30 a.m. on May 26, Castro was spotted driving via surveillance footage nearby the San Rafael Bridge in Marin County. The sheriff’s office says they have deployed officials to that area and continue to ask for the community’s support and assistance in locating Pinson.

An AMBER Alert was issued for the missing Pinson—who lives in Vallejo, California—by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), at the request of the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, on May 26.

Pinson hasn’t been heard from since around 7 a.m. on May 25 and was believed to be with Castro—also of Vallejo—who authorities believed was “armed and dangerous” at the time of the AMBER Alert’s issuance.

A witness, according to the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, reported seeing a white female, believed to be Pinson, being dragged by Castro over a pedestrian over-crossing in Vallejo.

The female’s face was reportedly bleeding as she was yelling for help. Castro reportedly had a firearm in his hand, and as the witness ran for help, a gun shot was heard.

Deputies responding to the pedestrian bridge found apparent blood markings, but no Castro or Pinson. A cell phone was reportedly also found at the scene.

As of the later evening hours on May 25, the sheriff’s office said it was unable to confirm if Pinson was shot or the extent of any injuries.

Pinson was last seen wearing a grey sweater, black leggings, with a black and turquoise backpack; she has green eyes and currently has green hair. She never arrived at her school, Jesse M. Bethel High School in Vallejo, on Wednesday, according to the sheriff’s office. She is 5 foot 3 inches tall and weights 130 pounds.

Users with information can post onto the Solano County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page post here, or are encouraged to call Detective Mattson at 707-784-7061. Callers may also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (707) 644-STOP (7867).