LAYTON — Police were looking Monday for a man charged with stabbing his estranged wife to death Sunday night in her Layton home.
A $500,000 arrest warrant was issued for Joe Castillo, 45, charging him with murder, a first-degree felony; domestic violence in the presence of a child and child abuse, third-degree felonies; and violation of a protection order, a class A misdemeanor.
Kaye Lynn Spackman, 36, was killed in the home where their three children were also present, according to Layton Police Lt. Jason Hinojosa. Castillo and Spackman have been married for more than 20 years.
A 17-year-old son witnessed part of the incident, Hinojosa said, and tried to stop his father.
Castillo went to the home Sunday evening, despite having been served with a protective order months before, according to an arrest warrant filed in 2nd District Court. Such orders typically prevent a person from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the protected person.
Castillo and Spackman began arguing in the garage.
"The argument became physical and the two went to the ground," the warrant states. "The defendant stabbed the victim multiple times with a kitchen knife before one of their children came to the aid of his mother."
A neighbor also came to the home "to see what the commotion was about" and found Castillo with a knife and the child trying to stop his father, court documents state. The neighbor yelled at Castillo to stop, and Castillo fled.
The couple's daughters, ages 4 and 8, were apparently sleeping during the incident, Hinojosa said.
Police responded to the home, 3228 W. 1025 North, on a domestic violence call around 11 p.m. Spackman was taken to Davis Hospital and Medical Center, where she died from her injuries, Hinojosa said.
According to investigators, Castillo left the scene on foot and is believed to have headed toward Clearfield minutes before officers arrived.
Neighbor Nancy Prince said she and her husband heard screams and saw struggling, prompting them to call 911. She said there were others reporting the crime as well and she ran out to see two neighbors, one a firefighter and the other a nurse, working to save Spackman.
"It was a rough night," she said. "I didn't sleep. It's a troubling — it's a sad situation. The ones who suffer here the most are the children and I'm really sad to see her gone. She was a sweet lady."
Prince described Spackman as a "sweetheart" who was kind to her neighbors and a good mother to her children.
"It's hard to see a family ripped apart and I don't know what led to it," she said. "I don't know why he did what he did. It was shocking and sad — really sad."
She said Castillo was already gone when she ran to the home.
Castillo remained missing Monday, despite a search involving Layton officers and two K-9 units Sunday night. Officers were following leads in Weber and Salt Lake counties Monday.
Castillo is 5 feet 2 inches tall and was last seen wearing a sleeveless green shirt and khaki shorts, and he may have suffered a cut on his forehead.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 801-497-8300.
The Utah Department of Human Services also offers resources for those involved in domestic violence incidents. The Domestic Violence Lifeline is 1-800-897-LINK (5465); and the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is 1-855-323-DCFS (3237). Both hotlines are toll-free and available 24 hours a day.
Contributing: Mike Anderson
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam