Exclusive: Mom Vanishes, The Killer Confesses

October 4, 2012
Less than 48 hours after sitting down for an exclusive interview with Dr. Phil, 37-year-old Mark Castellano confessed to killing his ex-girlfriend, 31-year-old Michelle Warner. Michelle, the mother of the former couple's 3-year-old son, had reportedly gone missing on September 22 after an argument with Mark. While authorities searched for Michelle, amid speculation of wrongdoing, Mark agreed to the one-on-one with Dr. Phil. After confessing to police, Mark contacted a Dr. Phil show producer — Hear what he says happened that night. Whom does he blame? What did he tell police he did with Michelle's body? And where was their son during the gruesome incident? Then, Dr. Phil speaks with Michelle's family. Can Dr. Phil help them make sense of their tragic loss?







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Michelle with her son, CaydenMichelle with familyMarkConfession to a "Dr. Phil" producerMichelle's familyMichelle's mother, DonnaMichelle's brother, DavidMichelle's sister-in-law, JessicaMark's mugshot "An Incredible Web of Lies and Deceit"

When Mark sat down with Dr. Phil, he said that, after an explosive argument with his ex-girlfriend, Michelle, she vanished without a trace from their southwest Houston apartment. By his account, the mother of two had stormed off to her room, and when he later went to check on her, she and her purse were gone, but her car remained parked in the driveway. Mark said that he then drove eight hours to drop off their 3-year-old son, Cayden, with relatives, and later returned home to gather his things.


Meanwhile, Michelle’s worried family filed a missing person’s report. According to authorities, there had been no cell phone or credit card activity since her disappearance. Michelle’s family says that the typically talkative and attentive mother would never go without checking in with her children or her family and friends. Meanwhile, a cloud of suspicion began to surround Mark, as some people started reporting what they believed to be "bizarre behavior" in the days following her disappearance. Friends of Michelle said Mark had cleaned their apartment with bleach, removed hard drives from Michelle’s computer, moved boxes from their home — and then there was the eight-hour road trip with their son in the middle of the night.


Before meeting with the Houston Police Department, Mark agreed to first speak with Dr. Phil. Less than two days later, he confessed to killing Michelle.


“Watch as he spins an incredible web of lies and deceit,” Dr. Phil says. In the exclusive one-on-one, Mark tells Dr. Phil his version of the last time he says he saw Michelle; claiming that she would habitually go missing and emphasizing the toxic nature of their relationship. Mark also says Michelle was abusing drugs and explains how she assaulted him the night she went missing — and on a regular basis. In Mark's own words, "she owned me," speaking of Michelle in the past tense.


Wanting to see how far Mark would take his twisted version of the truth, Dr. Phil tells Mark, “Friends describe Michelle as bubbly, engaging and interactive … those same people describe you as psychotic.”



What does Mark tell Dr. Phil happened the last time he saw Michelle? And, how does he explain the bleach in the apartment?

Where are the missing hard drives from Michelle’s computer?


“Did you kill her?”





 

The Confession

Less than 48 hours after speaking to Dr. Phil, Mark says he grew "tired of lying," and confessed to the Houston Police Department that he killed Michelle. He then called a Dr. Phil show producer, apologized for his deception, and explained what he says really happened to Michelle.

When Michelle’s mother, brother and sister-in-law arrived in Los Angeles, they expected to speak to Dr. Phil about Michelle's missing person's case. But instead, they learned the tragic news — Michelle was dead. “We wanted closure, but we always held out hope that she is still alive out there,” her mother, Donna, tells Dr. Phil. Donna says Michelle’s family did not like Mark, whom she calls narcissistic and “off mentally.” Learn what they say they would like to happen to Mark now.




Mark confesses to a Dr. Phil producer. Hear the chilling admission.

Michelle’s family asks to hear Mark’s confession. Watch the point that alarms them the most.


Michelle’s family each tells Dr. Phil what they want to happen to Mark.







Mark is currently in jail, being held on $150,000 bond, charged with the murder of Michelle Warner. He says he plans to plead guilty.

Dr. Phil will lend support to Michelle's family during this difficult time, and provide them with the help they need, when they are ready.

Update: On June 5, 2014, a jury found Mark Castellano guilty of murder. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.