The man at the center of the investigation into a missing Doral woman and her daughter lost his right eye after he was shot in the face with a police Taser stun gun, his newly hired lawyer said Monday.
Last Friday, Miami-Dade police confronted a suicidal Gustavo Castaño, who stabbed himself in the throat inside a truck in the parking lot of a Hialeah Gardens Home Depot. His lawyer insisted Monday that he had nothing to do with disappearance of his girlfriend, Liliana Moreno, 43, and their daughter, 9-year-old Daniela Moreno.
“I do fear that a rush to judgment by police and focusing on an innocent man has hindered their efforts. Mr. Castaño wants nothing more than to hear that Liliana and Daniela are safe and unharmed,” Miami Beach attorney Michael Grieco said. “He has fully cooperated with investigators and will continue to do so through my office.”
He added: “The beating of my client and the excessive use of a Taser that led him losing his eye will be addressed in due time.”
Castaño is at Kendall Regional Medical Center recovering from his wounds. Grieco released a photo of Castaño’s eye swollen shut, a large abrasion on his right cheek.
Castaño’s suicide attempt in front of police added a bizarre twist to a case already steeped in mystery. Miami-Dade police have repeatedly said investigators suspect foul play in the disappearance of Moreno and her daughter.
Miami-Dade police and state wildlife officers on Monday searched a wooded area near Krome Avenue near Tamiami Trail, with no luck.
Over the past week, homicide detectives have focused their investigation on Castaño, who is believed to be the last known person with Moreno and Daniela before they vanished.
Miami-Dade detectives began searching for Moreno and Daniela last week after relatives called from Colombia saying they hadn’t heard from the family in several days. An initial search at their Doral apartment turned up Moreno’s purse and wallet, a locked front door and her car in the parking lot.
Moreno’s relatives arrived from Colombia last week to help in the search, holding vigils and passing out fliers to drum up tips.
Miami-Dade homicide detectives have working frantically around the clock, scouring waterways and wooded areas looking for the missing mother and her daughter. Investigators also searched a Medley warehoused owned by Castaño.
Shortly before police found Castaño on Friday, the department issued a countywide bulletin to be on the lookout for him, fearing he was going to harm himself. After he was detained, Castano’s rental truck was impounded and searched and police began scouring a canal behind the big box store at 13895 W. Okeechobee Rd.