Missing 25-year-old Simi Valley mother found dead in Antelope Valley; ex-husband arrested

The body of a missing Simi Valley mother who had been missing since last week was found in the Antelope Valley Sunday, according to officials, and her ex-husband has been arrested as the primary suspect in connection with her death.

Rachel Castillo, 25, was last seen on Nov. 10. Earlier that day, Castillo had dropped off her two children with her ex-husband. When her sister, who lives with her, arrived at their apartment on East Country Drive, she found a large amount of blood inside. Castillo's phone and keys were there, as well as her car in its usual spot.

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On Sunday, a vigil was held in hopes of Castillo's safe return, but later Sunday, Simi Valley Police reported that Castillo's body had been found in the desert of northern Los Angeles County, police said.

"This afternoon, detectives located human remains of an adult female in a remote location within the Antelope Valley. The Detectives, along with the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the remains as Rachel Castillo," the department said in a press release Sunday.

Castillo's ex-husband, 25-year-old Zarbab Ali of Hawthorne was arrested at his parent's home in Victorville Sunday in connection with Castillo's murder.

It wasn’t known Monday if Ali has an attorney who could speak on his behalf. He was held in lieu of $510,000 bail on suspicion of murder and was scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday, according to Ventura County inmate records.

Castillo was studying for a master’s degree in clinical psychology at Pepperdine University’s online program with plans to become a marriage and family therapist. She leaves behind two sons, ages 2 and 5, who currently remain with family members. A GoFundMe created to help with Castillo's funeral expenses has since raised over $15,000.

Simi Valley Police continue investigating.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.