PEABODY — On Wednesday, Solanlly Paulino asked the management office at the Eaves Avalon apartment complex on Keys Drive how she could get her boyfriend, Franklin Castano, off of the lease and out of the apartment they had shared since last September.
They were breaking up, she told the employee.
Sometime during the next 24 hours, Paulino was killed, allegedly by Castano, who is charged with murdering her with a 9-mm bullet to the temple, police say. On Thursday morning, police say, Castano showed up at the Lynn police department and told officers he’d killed a woman he described as his “wife.”
It was the tragic end to an apparently stormy relationship that dates to at least 2010, when Paulino was just a couple of years out of high school and Castano, 43, a divorced man who was twice her age and the father of three children, one of them around the same age as the victim. Most recently he had worked installing car stereos and tinting windows.
A not guilty plea was entered on Castano’s behalf yesterday in Peabody District Court. Judge James Barretto agreed to hold Castano without bail, a request made by prosecutor Jessica Strasnick.
Castano’s attorney, Michael Phelan, did not contest the request, saying he wants time to prepare a bail argument. His next scheduled court appearance is March 25.
Family members of Castano and Paulino sat on opposite sides of the courtroom, watching quietly. They declined comment as they left. Paulino’s relatives clung to each other as they walked to their cars.
Paulino, who was once an honors student at Swampscott High School and who served in the Army for a time before attending Salem State University, seemed to have everything going for her.
She was pursuing a degree in social work and early childhood education and had steady work as a nanny, according to her profile on the website Sittercity. She was also pursuing a modeling career, listing herself on a website that promises to help aspiring models and actresses find work.