Trail dates are imminent for the babysitter and boyfriend accused of murdering Jada Justice -
Engelica Elisa Castillo, 19, has pleaded not guilty to the charges filed June 26 in the death of Jada Justice, who sustained numerous skull fractures.
Defense attorney Lemuel Stigler and trial supervisor David Urbanski told Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. they are cooperating in accomplishing discovery before the case goes to trial.
The girl’s mother, Melissa Swiontek, left Jada in Castillo’s care June 8 for a two-week stay. Castillo is Swiontek’s cousin.
On June 16, Castillo reported the child had been taken from her car outside a gas station at Ridge Road and Louisiana Street in Gary after she left the girl unattended while she went inside to buy cigarettes and bottled water.
The statement by Castillo prompted a massive search for the girl that ended June 25 when Castillo’s boyfriend and co-defendant, Timothy John Tkachik, led authorities to a swampy, wooded area near Otis where Jada’s body was found encased in cement.
Tkachik, 23, of Hobart, also charged with murder and neglect of a dependent, is scheduled for a hearing Sept. 18.
Back Story -
Another Missing Black Child – Another MSM MIA June 23, 2009
Update on Jada Justice June 25, 2009
Jada Justice Found Dead June 26, 2009
Suspects in Jada Justice case plead not guilty June 30, 2009
Jada Justice Suspects – Death Penalty Trial July 2, 2009