Search ends tragically for missing GHS grad
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
The search for Michelle Leigh Chaffin Warner, 31, a graduate of Grapeland High School, ended tragically Sunday, Sept. 30. That is when her ex-boyfriend, Mark Augustin Castellano, 37, of Houston confessed to her murder and told authorities where her body could be found, according to Houston Police Department officials. Warner’s family reported her missing Tuesday, Sept. 25, after not hearing from her for several days. She was last seen at 7222 Bellerieve in Houston Saturday, Sept. 22, HPD officials reported. According to HPD Homicide Division Sergeant B. Harris and Senior Police Officer M. Waters, “According to family members, Ms. Warner disappeared after having an argument with her ex-boyfriend, Castellano. Castellano then left Houston with their 3-year-old son to visit relatives in Odessa.” Harris and Waters further reported, “Investigators remained in contact with Castellano and he agreed to fl y back to Houston on Sunday (Sept. 30) to be interviewed. During the interview, he admitted to his role in Warner’s death and leaving her body in the couple’s apartment.” According to the report by Harris and Waters, “Castellano stated he drove his son to Odessa, left him with relatives and returned to Houston to retrieve Warner’s body. “He then drove back to the Midland-Odessa area where he attempted to bury her body in an oilfi eld. After speaking with investigators in Houston, Castellano told authorities in Midland where Warner’s body could be found.” The HPD reported Odessa police and FBI agents located Warner’s body and Castellano was subsequently charged with murder in the 184th State District Court. Harris County records indicate Castellano was booked into the Harris County Jail Monday, Oct. 1 and that bond was set at $150,000. He was scheduled for a court appearance Wednesday, Oct. 3. Warner was a paralegal for Donato, Minks, Brown & Pool PPC and a member of Felders Chapel Assembly of God. She was preceded in death by her grandfather, Arnold Chaffi n. She is survived by her parents, Walter Chaffi n and Brenda of Elkhart, Donna Malone and Richard Petit of Marshall; grandparents, Olga Chaffi n, Wayne Johnston and Nan Johnston; daughter, Hayley Warner of Houston; son, Cayden Castellano of Houston; and brother David Chaffi n and wife, Jessica, of Grapeland. Funeral services for Warner will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 at Felders Chapel Assembly of God with Rev. Randy Shipman and Rev. Kevin Poage offi - ciating. Burial will follow in Guiceland Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Bailey & Foster.