Man Arrested on Suspicion of Murder After ‘Suspicious’ Death of Woman in Whittier: Police

A man who was sought as a “person of interest” in the “suspicious” death of a woman at a residence in Whittier has been arrested on suspicion of murder, police said Wednesday.

Rafael Castillo is seen in a photo released by Whittier police on Sept. 12, 2017.

Rafael Castillo is seen in a photo released by Whittier police on Sept. 12, 2017.

Rafael Castillo, 56, was taken into custody in Reseda by Whittier officers, according to a post on the Police Department’s Facebook page.

He was questioned following a traffic stop and subsequently arrested, Sgt. Dominic Iraldo said.

He was booked at the Whittier Police Department Jail and is being held on $1 million.

Castillo is suspected in the homicide of 54-year-old Sandra Polanco, whose body was discovered in the 11700 block of Floral Avenue around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to authorities.

Firefighters had responded to an assault or abuse call at the residence, where they found the deceased woman.

A cause of death was not immediately released.

Neighbors told KTLA Castillo and Polanco were a couple who lived together.

Castillo “seemed like a nice guy,” neighbor Guillermo Cedno said.

“He introduced himself when I first moved in,” Cedno said. “He said, ‘I live right here in the front. If you ever need anything — I’m here.'”

Another neighbor who was friends with Polanco described her as a “very caring,” “very nice” woman who was “really funny.”

Police have not elaborated on the relationship, confirming only that the pair knew one another.

Castillo is due in court Thursday.

KTLA’s Alexandria Hernandez contributed to this story.