Relatives identify young mother fatally stabbed on San Carlos street

A 27-year-old woman who was fatally stabbed on a San Carlos street in broad daylight was identified Friday by loved ones.

The victim's father, Martin Castro Jr., told KTVU his daughter, Karina Castro, was the young woman killed Thursday. She leaves behind two daughters, ages 7 and 1.

Martin Castro Jr. was said it feels like "one big horrible nightmare."

"She was an amazing girl. She was a great mom. She was my daughter," he said. "The most caring person I've known. She always had my back."

Authorities identified the suspect accused in the fatal stabbing as Jose Landaeta, 33. He was arrested Thursday after he returned to the area of the gruesome attack, according to San Mateo County Sheriff's Lt. Eamonn Allen.

Investigators recovered the weapon used in the attack overnight and described it as an "edged weapon" or "stabbing instrument."

The woman was reportedly beheaded with a sword, but law enforcement has declined to confirm that with KTVU.

Authorities said witnesses described the attack as grisly.

Sheriff's deputies were called to a residential neighborhood in the 300-400 block of Laurel Street and Magnolia Avenue at around 11:50 a.m. There they found the young woman dead.

Allen said the crime happened outside the victim's home that she shared with her two children.

The children did not witness the crime.

On Friday, family and friends visited the crime scene to pay their respects to Karina Castro. There her father sobbed in the middle of the street as loved ones wrapped their arms around him.

"I’d give my life for her in a second. I should have been here. And all I keep telling myself is — I failed. That’s how I feel. And I don’t want anyone else to feel this way," Martin Castro Jr. said.

Those who knew Karina Castro said she was in an abusive relationship with Landaeta. 

Her father described the relationship as "rocky, questionable, there was a lot of unstable behavior mainly from him."

He said Landaeta was violent, and his daughter had an order of protection against him.

Martin Castro Jr. said he wishes his daughter would have gotten away.

"If anyone you know has a relationship that’s questionable with a violent co-partner — get away, get away. I never thought that he would do this," he said.

The City of San Carlos and the Community Foundation are accepting donations on behalf of Castro's children here.