HARDIN COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — Prosecutors spent Friday discussing where a suspect was the day before a little girl was kidnapped and raped.
Charles Castle is facing 17 charges related to the kidnapping and rape of a seven-year-old in Kenton in November 2021.
The state brought forward witnesses to testify specifically about Castle’s whereabouts on November 10, the day before the child was reported missing.
NBC4 heard from a Rite-Aid clerk as well as a special agent with the FBI.
Surveillance video from the drug store the night of November 10, which showed Castle buying Black Velvet Whiskey and Dr. Pepper.
They also played audio from the FBI agent’s roughly 45-minute interview with Castle.
Prosecutor Bradford Bailey asked about the timeline Castle provided.
“Did at any time he ever bring up the fact he went to Rite Aid that store?” Bailey asked.
FBI Special Agent Paul Pape responded, “No.”
Bailey asked, “Did he at any time indicate he had bought whiskey at the Rite Aid?”
Pape answered again with, “No.”
Bailey pressed, “Or even bought pop at Rite Aid?”
To which Pape repeated no.
Castle stated in the interview that he was at other locations. His attorney asked if video of Castle was acquired from those locations. The agent said he did not know.
Surveillance video from outside the family’s home the night before the girl went missing was also shown in court.
NBC4 heard from Detective Terry Sneary, a digital forensic examiner with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.
He testified about the surveillance videos where the family’s garage is visible along with a van, which stopped there several times.
The first view of that surveillance video is from November 10, the day before the girl is reported missing.
Video from that day, time stamped 5:27 p.m., shows a silver van with a missing hubcap. Sneary said was it consistent with Castle’s van parked outside the family’s home. NBC4 also saw it leaving.
Video from later in the evening shows a van was recorded stopping at the garage around 10:43 p.m. that night and then driving away after five minutes.
A van appears again, this time at 11:12 p.m.
An amplified piece of video shows two silhouettes go into the van before it drove away about 14 minutes later.
The defense asked specific questions about the van and if it could 100% be linked to Castle.
“Are you able to determine the color of that vehicle?” asked Defense Attorney Elizabeth Smith.
Sneary replied, “No.”
Smith asked if the license plate could be seen, the driver, any passengers, or if there was a missing hub cap.
Sneary replied “no” to all of those questions as well.
An important witness for the state, Lieutenant Tom Watson with Logan County Sheriff’s Office, took the stand specifically focusing on Castle’s whereabouts as well as his phone the night the girl went missing.
Watson said he examined cell phone data from AT&T the night of November 10 and the following day. The girl was reported missing on November 11.
Watson says AT&T can get location data from cell phones randomly but also when there is internet access.
He says he examined Castle’s records and for much of the night on the 10th it hit the same tower estimating Castle to be in the area of his home, which is in close proximity to the girl’s home.
The first change in the pattern Watson says happened November 11 at 11:02 a.m. He says records indicate Castle’s phone moved in a southernly direction, within a few miles to where the girl was found.
Castle’s attorney questioned the accuracy of this.
“Very confident that the device moved south from what I saw in those phone records. There’s no doubt in my professional opinion and then it moved back north, then moved back south, and then finally north, “said Watson.
The state says as of right now it has finished calling witnesses, but it did not rest its case. Castle’s attorney will now have the chance to call witnesses Monday at 9 a.m. when the trial resumes.