N.C. man extradited, charged in fatal shooting of ex-girlfriend

A North Carolina man implicated in the fatal shooting of his ex-girlfriend outside a Columbia apartment complex in May has been extradited to Howard County to face first- and second-degree murder charges, according to Howard County Police.

According to charging documents, Ryan Patrick Matthias, 43, drove 860 miles round trip from Charlotte, N.C., to Columbia and fatally shot Deborah Castellano, 47, who was found dead inside her car 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, reportedly told his sister before the murder that "he (had) thought about hurting (Castellano)" after he believed he discovered her with another man, police said.

Matthias' sister reached out to a Castellano family member on Facebook three days prior to the murder, police said, and wrote "my mother and I are going to take steps of our own to make sure he does not act on anger."

According to charging documents, Matthias and Castellano dated from September 2012 to March 2013. Police said Matthias was accused of causing bruises to Castellano's neck in a domestic incident in Herkimer, N.Y., on March 18, the same month the two separated, according to the documents.

Castellano moved to Columbia from Herkimer, N.Y., to work at Maryland Live, the casino next to Arundel Mills Mall, and "start a new life," according to the documents.

Despite the reported incident and Castellano's decision to end the relationship, Matthias helped her move into her Columbia apartment, according to a Castellano family member's statement in the documents.

The documents state that on April 30, Matthias returned to Howard County using a rental car and checked into a Red Roof Inn in Jessup. He reportedly visited Castellano's neighborhood and questioned neighbors if she had been seen with any men, according to her neighbors.

Matthias returned to North Carolina on May 1 and rented a second car May 3 in Charlotte. Police believe he used the second rental car in the commission of the crime, according to the documents.

At 9:06 a.m. on May 4, Howard County Rescue responded to Basket Ring Road following a report of a woman injured in her car. Castellano's body was found inside her Toyota Corolla with multiple gun shot wounds, police said.

Earlier that morning, at approximately 4:21 a.m., police responded to the neighborhood after residents in the same apartment complex reported hearing several gun shots, police said. Police checked the area but found nothing, according to the documents.

One witness reported seeing a car matching the description of Matthias' second rental car in the neighborhood during the time of the gun shots, according to the documents.

Matthias drove the rental car 1,045 miles, according to the documents. Additionally, the documents state bank records show Matthias purchased gas twice in Virginia — once on May 3 and once at 7:18 a.m. on May 4, approximately three hours after witnesses reported hearing gun shots.

Police also discovered Matthias turned off his phone between 5:35 p.m. May 3 and 6:31 a.m. May 4, and that he changed his phone number on May 5, according to the documents.

After conducting surveillance of Matthias on May 9 and 10 in Charlotte, Howard Police detectives requested an arrest warrant be issued for Matthias in connection with the murder.

Matthias was arrested on May 10, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

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