BRANCHBURG TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – A Pennsylvania man has been charged for allegedly dumping the body of Ashely M. Castro, who was found in the center median of Route 22 last Wednesday, and authorities are searching for another suspect.
David DeSantos, 32, of Henryville, Pennsylvania has been charged with second-degree disturbing human remains, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Branchburg Township Chief of Police David Young said in a news release Tuesday.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives are actively searching for Nicole Barbour, 26, of Hillside Road, in Ringwood, NJ in connection with the discovery of the body of Castro, who is from Hopatcong, NJ.
Last Wednesday at 1:22 p.m., Branchburg Township Police responded to a call reporting the discovery of a deceased female located in the center median of Route 22 near Route 28, Robertson said.
Since the discovery, detectives assigned to the Branchburg Township Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Franklin Township Field Office), have worked tirelessly in identifying Castro, and searching for the suspects involved with the unlawful disturbing, moving and concealing of her body, Robertson said.
As a result of the investigation, detectives identified DeSantos and Barbour as the individuals responsible for unlawfully disturbing, moving and concealing the remains of Castro, Robertson said.
The investigation additionally revealed that during the early morning hours on Wednesday, March 29, DeSantos and Barbour moved Castro from a Route 22 motel and concealed her body in the center median amongst bushes, trees, and high grass. Castro’s cause and manner of death are pending by the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, Robertson said.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Friday at 11:00 p.m., detectives successfully tracked DeSantos to a residence in High Bridge, New Jersey. He was arrested on an outstanding fugitive warrant from Pennsylvania. DeSantos was lodged in the Somerset County Jail awaiting a bail detention hearing.
Nicole Barbour is identified as an accomplice and assisted DeSantos with disposing and concealing the human remains. She is described as a 26 year old white female, approximately 5’4”, 106 pounds, Green Eyes, and Blond/Brown hair.
Anyone with information regarding the location of Barbour is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Branchburg Township Police Department (908) 526-3830 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.
For more Northwest Jersey’s News, tune into 92.7FM, 104.7FM, 1510AM, wrnj.com or on the TuneIn app.
(Nicole Barbour-David DeSantos/Photo Courtesy: Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office)