A 24-year-old Marine recruiter faces a trial on allegations that he broke into a Michigan home, stabbed an 11-year-old girl and said he planned to “kill everyone inside.”

Cpl. Ricardo Perez Castillo waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday, which moves his case involving felony charges of assault with intent to murder, first-degree home invasion, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct and carrying a weapon with unlawful intent to the Kent County, Michigan, 17th Circuit Court for a potential trial.

Prosecutors allege based on witness testimony and a police investigation that Castillo entered a home in the River Bluffs community of Rockford, Michigan, at around 3 a.m. on June 15, stripped down to his underwear and a shirt, took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed an 11-year-old girl who was a friend of a girl who lived at the residence, FOX 17 West Michigan reported.

Castillo stopped stabbing the girl when she and her friend began screaming. He was held at gunpoint by the homeowner until police arrived. She suffered wounds to her left arm and shoulder and was treated at a local hospital.

Kent County Sheriff’s deputies found Castillo in the girl’s bedroom with a bloody knife next to him, according to court records reported by both ABC local affiliate Channel 13 and local NBC affiliate Channel 8 Wood TV.

“Video shows Ricardo (Castillo) entering the (River Bluffs) residence and taking his shoes, socks, and pants off,” according to the arrest report, local ABC affiliate Channel 13 reported. “Ricardo (Castillo), with only his underwear and T-shirt, grabbed a knife from the kitchen drawer and walked upstairs.

Castillo’s intent was to break into the house and kill the entire family, according to the report.

“Ricardo (Castillo) stated that he tried the first couple bedroom doors, but they were locked,” the report stated. “Ricardo then opened the master bedroom door and located (the homeowner) and his wife asleep.”

He decided to look for an “easier target,” according to the report.

“Ricardo (Castillo) then went into the room where (the girl) was sleeping,” wrote the deputy. “Ricardo stated to detectives that he planned to kill (her) and have sex with her … body.”

But that house wasn’t his first stop that night.

About an hour before Castillo allegedly entered the River Bluffs, Michigan, home, a nearby homeowner was cleaning up his house after a dinner party and went to the rear of the home to bring some items inside from his deck when he saw a stranger by his kitchen sink.

He asked the man, who police later identified as Castillo, who he was, why he was in his house and to leave.

The man said Castillo walked toward the door but stopped and said, “‘I don’t even (expletive) know what the (expletive) is going on, but just in case, just be careful. Make sure you’re armed.’ At that point I slammed the door shut and called police,” Channel 8 Wood TV reported.

Castillo was arrested on felony charges and is being held in the Kent County, Michigan, jail on a $2 million bond.

“This case, it’s as scary as it gets, it’s as horrific as it gets and it puts all of us in a fear zone like no other,” said District Judge Sara J. Smolenski during his hearing.

Castillo, a native of Waterford, Michigan, more than two hours away, has served as a canvassing recruiter out of the Marine’s Lansing recruiting station since October 2023.

He holds an infantry primary military occupational specialty and previously served with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Marine Chief Warrant Officer 3 Bobby Yarbrough, a Marine spokesman, told Marine Corps Times in an email response Thursday.

Police told local media that Castillo had been drinking alcohol earlier in the evening and was seen in downtown Rockford, Michigan, more than a mile from the house.

Marine officials were not aware of any disciplinary actions against the corporal and Michigan police found no prior criminal convictions against Castillo in the state, according to local media.

The Marine Corps deferred comment on the case and offered a statement to media.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred. The case is currently being adjudicated in the Michigan court system, and it would be inappropriate to comment on the details of the case at this time. Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.”

Police told local media outlets that currently the act appears “totally random,”and they have not found any connection between Castillo and individuals at the residence.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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