Family wants answers after 24-year-old found dead outside home in Mount Vernon


MOUNT VERNON, New York (WABC) — A grieving mother welcomed friends Wednesday as they offered condolences next to the very spot where she found her daughter’s body.

The cause of Alexandra Castano’s death remains under investigation, but her family suspects foul play.

“One-hundred percent my sister would never, she wasn’t doing any drugs…someone did something to my sister and no one’s helping,” the victim’s sister Cristina Benitez said.

Around 8 p.m. Monday night, the 24-year-old told her mother she was going out. A half hour later she texted that she was headed back home, but her mother said she never returned.

Lucia Castano discovered her daughter’s lifeless body the next morning in the vestibule of the house on Summit Avenue.

“It’s like somebody put her there,” Castano said.

Mount Vernon police have not labeled Castano’s death as a homicide. The family says preliminary autopsy results showed no evidence of trauma nor a medical episode.

But the family wants answers.

“How does a 24-year-old just die right in front of her house, and no one knows what happened,” Benitez said.

According to the medical examiner, the cause of death is pending. The family says they are delaying making funeral arrangements because they are planning a second, independent autopsy.

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