Susana Castillo-Mendez (23) lived in Chesterfield, Virginia. Susana had suffered from depression and anxiety for much of her life, and was a survivor of a suicide attempt earlier in her life. She was an advocate for mental health and was a member of several online support groups for those afflicted with depression and suicidal thoughts.
On the night of March 13, 2009, Susana made a call to 911 claiming she was suicidal. After a brief conversation with the operator, Susana said she had changed her mind and was heading back to her apartment to sleep. Due to the nature of the call, a patrol car was sent to check on her at her residence. Upon finding that Susana was not opening the door or responding to the officers, they made their way into her apartment. The bedroom door was jammed and could not be opened, but the police managed to find an open window into her bedroom from the outside. Susana was found murdered in her bedroom, and the scene suggested a prolonged and intense struggle. Furniture had been used to barricade the door from the inside of the bedroom to prevent the door from being able to open.
Susana was killed by repeated blows from a baseball bat, and also suffered numerous stab wounds. Some of the attacks were made post-mortem.
Police questioned several suspects, including an ex-boyfriend who had been seen around the apartment complex some days before the murder. However, no arrests were ever made, and Susana’s death remains unresolved.