HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A lover’s quarrel may have turned deadly in Howard County and now a man is under arrest. Howard County police say a woman found shot to death in front of her home had a troubled past that followed her to Maryland.

Rochelle Ritchie has more.

The woman worked at the Maryland Live! casino for a short time before police say she was tracked down by a scorned lover looking for vengeance.

Howard County police say Ryan Matthias of North Carolina is now under arrest, accused of murdering his 47-year-old ex-girlfriend, Deborah Castellano, in front of her home.

“We very early on took a look at him and pieces started to fall into place that ultimately resulted in him being our suspect,” said Sherry Llewellyn, Howard County Police.

On May 4, Howard County police responded to a frantic 911 call for help after neighbors heard a gunshot in a parking lot off Basket Ring Road in Columbia.

“There was a woman over there shot, and I was like, `You have to be kidding me,'” said neighbor Carlos Cruz.

Castellano had moved to Maryland to leave behind her troubled past by starting a job at the Maryland Live! casino. They issued a statement Tuesday saying “Debbie made many friends and had a lasting impression on coworkers and customers who had the pleasure to make her acquaintance and work with her. We continue to offer support to Howard County police as their investigation proceeds.”

Howard County police say the accused gunman had prior arrests for domestic violence against the victim in New York.

Investigators say the scorned lover planned his murder plot, renting a car and driving nearly seven hours from Charlotte to Castellano’s home. Police say she was sitting in the car when she was gunned down.

“Family members were able to tell us he had been harassing her for some time,” said Llewellyn.

Police say he then drove back to North Carolina and returned the rental car with 1,000 miles logged in a two-day period.

Howard County police say the victim did not report any harassment issues to their department.

Matthias will be extradited back to Maryland to face murder charges.


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