Family mourns father killed in carjacking near MacArthur Park

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017
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Alex Mota (right) and his family are mourning the loss of his father Ricardo Mota, killed in a carjacking near MacArthur Park.

KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Ricardo Mota had a routine.

Every day he'd park at a parking structure near MacArthur Park and on his way home from work, he'd call his family.

But on Monday Dec. 11, they never got a call.

Police say Mota's body was discovered with severe injuries that night after a suspected carjacking.

Investigators say he got into a fight with a man as he was trying to get into his car after work on the roof of a parking garage.

They say he was apparently then run over by his own truck and left for dead.

Now, this holiday season Mota's 13-year-old son is learning how to live without his father.

"No one should have their father taken from them at this young of age," said his son, Alex Mota. "Or possibly even mother at this age. At any young age at all. During these holidays, it's just hard."

Mitchell Castillo, described as a 36-year-old transient from the Los Angeles area, was initially arrested for carjacking.

But the District Attorney's Office has since filed murder charges against him.

Investigators say he was seen rummaging through the victim's truck in the San Fernando Valley before they arrested him. Officers also have surveillance video near the scene of the crime of Castillo driving away in the victim's truck.

Mota was employed by a maintenance contractor that worked for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and was assigned to the building at 2600 Wilshire Blvd., near the parking garage where the carjacking occurred.

"The entire Housing Authority family was heartbroken to learn of this tragic incident," HACLA officials said in a statement. "He was kind, hardworking and well-liked by employees. Yesterday we brought in grief counselors to assist employees and co-workers cope with this horrible loss. We extend our deepest condolences to the Mota family and hope that those involved in this senseless act will be swiftly brought to justice."

Now, instead of worrying about Christmas this year, Mota's family is worried about paying rent. If you'd like to help, they've set up a GoFundMe page.