The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday announced that 25-year-old Zarbab Ali has been charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Rachel Castillo.  

The victim, Rachel Castillo, who was also 25, had two young sons with Ali — a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old.  

Castillo’s sister called 911 on Nov. 10, after returning to the Simi Valley area apartment she shared with Rachel and found evidence of a struggle and what was described as a “significant amount of blood” at the scene. 

Rachel Castillo is seen in an undated photo provided by her family.
Rachel Castillo in an undated photo provided by her family.

After Castillo’s body was discovered in a remote area of the Antelope Valley on Nov. 13, detectives with the Simi Valley Police Department arrested Ali at his parents’ home in Victorville.

“This was a young mother with a very bright future who was working on behalf of a local non-profit provider while attending graduate school,” Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko said in the release. “Rachel’s murder is a tragedy for Ventura County and my office will be seeking justice for her two young children and entire family.”  

Ali was also charged with a special allegation of “lying in wait and personal use of a knife,” according to a news release from the D.A.’s office.