Columbia homicide

Police found a woman dead inside this Toyota Corolla parked in a Columbia neighborhood near Blandair Park in May 2013. (Provided by Howard County Police / May 4, 2013)

A North Carolina man was indicted in Howard County Circuit Court Wednesday in connection with the May fatal shooting of his ex-girlfriend outside of her Columbia apartment.

Ryan Patrick Matthias, 42, of Charlotte, was indicted on first- and second-degree murder charges and a gun charge in the slaying of Deborah Castellano, who was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds inside her car parked in the 9600 block of Basket Ring Road on May 4.

Matthias, who was arrested in North Carolina on May 11 and extradited to Howard County on June 12, dated Castellano from September 2012 to March 2013, according to the charging documents.

The two split the same month Castellano accused Matthias of domestic violence in Herkimer, N.Y., where the pair were residing at the time, the documents state.


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The 47-year-old Castellano reportedly moved to Columbia to work at Maryland Live Casino at Arundel Mills, and to "start a new life," according to the documents.

After the split, Matthias relocated to Charlotte, but reportedly assisted Castellano during her move, according to the documents. 

Police said a witness reported seeing a car matching the description of a vehicle Matthias rented in North Carolina on May 3. Polce said Matthias returned the car on May 5, a day after the murder was reported to have taken place, with more than 1,000 miles on it.