Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lori and Collin Casteel

Murdered April 15, 2007

~Ages 25 (Lori) and 4 (Collin)
~Hometown: Bruceton Mills/Pleasantdale, WV

Four-year-old Collin Grant Casteel was excited that he was going to be a big brother. His mother, Lori A. Casteel, 25, due in September 2007, already had a name picked out for her baby-to-be -- Angelina. Little Angelina will never be born, however. On April 15, 2007, the bodies of Casteel and her son were found in a car in Pleasantdale, WV. Casteel died from head trauma. Collin suffered head trauma and also was shot in the chest.

Arrested in the case was Casteel's boyfriend, James Louis DeGasperin, 35, of Pleasantdale, WV. So far he has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors have indicated they will charge him with a third murder count at a later date, in accordance with the West Virginia Unborn Victims of Violence Act. This act was passed by the state legislature in 2005, following the murder of a pregnant Laci Peterson at the hands of her husband.

Police were alerted to the murders of Casteel and Collin by DeGasperin's friend, Terry Knotts. DeGasperin reportedly told Knotts he bludgeoned his girlfriend and her son to death with a baseball bat and needed help disposing of the bodies. Knotts went to the police with this information. The car where the bodies were found was near DeGasperin's house. The police report indicates that DeGasperin told officers that he "just snapped."

News reports say Casteel lived with DeGasperin at his Pleasantville WV home, but her obituary says she was from nearby Bruceton Mills. It is not known if the baby she was carrying was DeGasperin's child. DeGasperin was not Collin's father.

DeGasperin worked as a middle school physical education teacher. Colleagues described him as a nice guy and popular teacher. DeGasperin's record includes only a 1990 arrest for intent to distribute drugs. Those charges were dropped because of a lack of probable cause.

Little information has been released about Casteel and her son. Comments left in their online funeral guest book suggest Casteel had worked at Preston Memorial Hospital and Kwik Stop. A former coworker remembered Casteel as 'a sweet, caring, friendly, lovable woman,' and these descriptors were repeated by other commenters.

The next court date for DeGasperin is in June. A gag order has been issued in the case.

Lori Casteel; Collin Casteel

James DeGasperin

The Cumberland Times-News, Apr 17, 2007
The Charlestown Gazette, Apr 19, 2007
WBOY-TV, Apr 25, 2007
The Charlestown Gazette, Apr 27, 2007

~Posted April 30, 2007

A fund for memorial contributions has been established by the family. Contributions to the Lori and Collin Casteel Memorial Fund may be made c/o Ed and Pam Casteel (Lori's parents, no address provided) or sent to the address below. [Source/Obit]

Collin G. Casteel Memorial Fund
c/o Clear Mountain Bank
PO Box 361
Bruceton Mills, WV 26525


Anonymous said...

Collin was in the local preschool class. He was indeed a joy to be around. Mr. D also had 2 children from a previous marriage, and the young boy was also in that same preschool class. This case affected not only the two small communities, but the whole county of Preston. I feel so badly for the Casteels' family, but also for Mr. D's family.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

This is a sad case, but the information listed above is highly inaccurate according to police record and trial testimony.

Anonymous said...

April 15th 2009

We love you Lori,Collin,and Angelina! You will never be forgotten. Your always in our prayers!!!

Love Always,
Nikki,Anthony,and Hannah

Anonymous said...

Think ab u everyday.

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