On Friday, the alleged hit-and-run driver stood before a Cook County judge, extradited from Mexico and charged with leaving the scene of a crash that killed 26-year-old Gilliam, a DePaul University student and beloved NorthSide bartender.
Carlos Castillo drank for more than four hours before getting behind the wheel and killing Gilliam in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, 2009, prosecutors said.
For nearly six years, Rachel Gilliam’s killer hid in Mexico While her family awaited justice.
At the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Friday, Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. set Castillo’s bond at $750,000 and ordered him to surrender his passport. Prosecutors said Castillo signed a handwritten statement admitting to the crash.
Gilliam had just finished a Halloween shift at Bowman’s Bar and Grill in North Center when she hailed a cab near the bar. She was wearing a wedding dress decorated with stamps — her Halloween costume being a “mail-order bride.”
But after Gilliam hailed a cab and was trying to get in, Castillo struck her in the bike lane, throwing her body into the air and into the northbound lane of traffic.
Castillo kept driving, heading home and parking his vehicle in his garage. Gilliam was taken to the hospital, where she soon died, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Castillo had been drinking for 4-1/2 hours at Max Bar, 2247 N. Lincoln, before he got behind the wheel with a friend as his passenger. That friend was sleeping at the time of the crash, but noticed the damaged car the next day.
Fearing he’d get in trouble, Castillo flagged a Chicago Police officer later that afternoon and told them someone had smashed his car with a baseball bat. He then spoke to the friends he had been drinking with the night before and decided he should leave town, prosecutors said.