Phone thief killed 67-year-old grandfather in Albany Park, prosecutors say

Richard Orozco and J. Isabel Castillo (Chicago Police Department, Tohle Funeral Home)

CHICAGO—Relatives remember J. Isabel Castillo as a hardworking, loving man. When he turned 18, he moved to the U.S. from Mexico and settled in Uptown. He then moved to Albany Park, where he lived for decades, raising a family, working as a dishwasher and cook, and selling paletas and elotes. Today would have been his 68th birthday.

Would have been—had he not been killed by a man who, prosecutors say, wanted his phone.

Castillo was in the 3100 block of West Lawrence when Richard Orozco, 40, took his phone on June 16, prosecutors said. When Castillo tried to get the device back, Orozco allegedly pushed him with both hands, causing Castillo to fall and strike his head on the concrete.

Video showed Orozco rifling through Castillo’s pockets as the doting grandfather lay unresponsive on the ground, according to prosecutors.

Castillo died two days later.

Chicago police used video and phone data to identify Orozco, according to a CPD arrest report. They took him into custody late last week to face a charge of first-degree murder. Judge Shauna Boliker detained him as a safety risk.

In an online obituary, Castillo’s family said he was the father of four daughters.

“His most precious role was when he became a grandfather to his one and only granddaughter… He loved her with all his heart and was so proud of his little princess,” the obituary said.

Over the years, he worked at the Chicago Yacht Club, the Saddle & Cycle Club, the Chicago Hilton Hotel, Kelly’s Pub, and the United Center.

About Tim Hecke 363 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com