Juvenile Charged with First-Degree Murder for Thornton Township Homicide

Jun 27, 2023Press Release

COOK COUNTY, IL – A 17-year-old from Robbins has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder in connection with a homicide that occurred at the Kickapoo Meadows Forest Preserve late last year, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

On Nov. 1, 2022, Sheriff’s Police detectives were requested by the Cook County Forest Preserve Police to respond to a call of a body found near the 14000 block of South Thornton Road. Upon arrival, detectives found 16-year-old Jaiden Howard unresponsive with a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. Howard was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the course of their investigation, detectives identified the offender as Jahqwan Castillo. On April 17, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Castillo on the charge of first-degree murder, and a subsequent warrant was issued on May 18 on the charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon for a separate, unrelated investigation.

In collaboration with the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, the Sheriff’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit located and arrested Castillo on Monday, June 26, in the 2500 block of 173rd Street in Lansing, IL. Later that day, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office approved one count of first-degree murder.

Castillo appeared for a bond hearing today at the Markham Courthouse where a judge ordered him held without bail at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.