Worcester, MA

Foster Parents Reported 5-Month-Old Missing Two Days After He Disappeared

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished

Marlon Devine SantosThe Charley Project

By 1998, Jose Castillo and his wife, Yolanda Castillo, had cared for 51 foster children. The couple lived in the 100 block of Eastern Avenue in Worcester, Massachusetts. In August 1998, the couple took in a 2-month-old baby boy, Marlon Devine Santos. Marlon tested positive for drugs at birth. His biological mother, Dino Santos, was homeless, drug-addicted, and left Marlon for days at a time.

On November 5, 1998, Yolanda left Marlon and two other foster children, ages 2 and 3, at home alone. She said she left the house, drove eight miles to East Middle School, and picked up two of her biological children, reports the Charley Project. Yolanda said the foster children were left alone between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm, and when she returned, Marlon was gone.

Yolanda did not report Marlon missing until two days later, on November 7, 1998. She said Jose was away on a day trip in New York, and she drove there to pick him up before reporting Marlon's disappearance, reports the Charley Project.

The Massachusetts Department of Social Services immediately removed the other foster children from the home. Six weeks later, their biological children were removed from their care. The biological children were eventually returned to Yolanda and Jose.

At the time of his disappearance, Marlon's biological father was seeking custody of him. Dino Santos showed little interest in the disappearance of her baby boy, according to authorities.

In 1999, Jose was charged with the sexual assault of three children. Two of the victims were former foster children, and one was his stepdaughter. He was convicted in 2000 and sentenced to 5 to 7 years in prison. Rumors circulated that Marlon had been sold.

Jose CastilloThe Charley Project

In 1999, authorities received a tip that led them to search the banks of the Wachusett Reservoir. Although a diaper, pieces of plastic, and torn baby clothing were found, there were no human remains located or any other clues.

No one is sure what happened to Marlon Devine Santos. His parents were ruled out as suspects in his disappearance. Although detectives are not ruling out the possibility that he was sold, they suspect foul play in his disappearance.

If alive today, Marlon would be 24 years old in June.

If you have any information, please contact the Worcester Police Department at 508-799-8651.

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