Illegal Immigrant Siblings Enter Pleas In Slaying Of Woman In Michigan

Francisca Vargas-Castillo and Leobardo Torres-Castillo
Photo credit Francisca Vargas-Castillo, left, and Leobardo Torres-Castillo (credit: Sanilac County Sheriff's Office)
By WWJ Newsradio 950

SANDUSKY, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - Two siblings who immigration authorities say were in the U.S. illegally have taken plea deals in the slaying of their co-worker in Michigan.

The Times Herald of Port Huron reports Francisca Vargas-Castillo and Leobardo Torres-Castillo entered their pleas last week in Sanilac County Circuit Court.

Vargas-Castillo pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in a criminal manner; while her brother pleaded guilty to assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and tampering with evidence.

Sentencing is set for June 26.

According to the Sanilac County Sheriff's Office, the investigation began early in the morning of Sept. 1 when deputies were dispatched to a mobile home in Marlette Township on a call from a man who said he'd found blood and that his girlfriend, 42-year-old Brica Flores-Rivera, was missing. 

Flores-Rivera's body was found the same day in a drainage ditch in nearby Buel Township, about 85 miles north of Detroit.

During the trial. a witness said during the trial that she'd driven the siblings to the trailer, where they'd instructed her to wait outside. There, the witness testified, she saw Vargas-Castillo, 33, beat and stabbed Flores-Rivera whom she allegedly believed was trying to poison her children and seduce her husband. Witnesses said Vargas-Castillo had asked Torres-Castillo for her help in confronting the woman. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said suspects and then victim, who were all from Mexico, worked together at a dairy farm in Michigan. 

Vargas-Castillo and Torres-Castillo each remain held on a $1 million cash bond.