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Man Charged with Dumping Body on Route 22 Median; Second Suspect Sought

Suspect David DeSantos Credits: Courtesy Somerset County Prosecutor's Office
Suspect Nicole Barbour Credits: Courtesy Somerset County Prosecutor's Office

SOMERVILLE, NJ - A Pennsylvania man has been arrested and charged with dumping the body of 29-year-old Ashley M. Castro on the Route 22 center median in Branchburg last week; a second suspect is being sought in connection with the incident, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

David DeSantos, 32, of Henryville, Pa., has been charged with disturbing human remains, second degree.

Police are pressing their search for Nicole Barbour, 26, of Hillside Road, Ringwood in connection with the discovery of Castro's body on April 5. Robertson said she helped DeSantos dispose and conceal Castro's remains.

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Robertson said detectives determined that during the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 29, DeSantos and Barbour moved Castro from a Route 22 motel and concealed her body in the center median near the Route 28 intersection amongst bushes, trees and high grass. The cause and manner of death are pending by the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office. 

Branchburg Police found the body after receiving a phone tip. 

DeSantos was arrested Friday, April 7 at 11 p.m. at a  residence in High Bridge on an outstanding fugitive warrant from Pennsylvania. He is lodged in the Somerset County Jail awaiting a bail detention hearing. 

Barbour is described as 5’4”, 106 pounds with green eyes, and blond/brown hair.  Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the Branchburg Township Police Department (908) 526-3830 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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