Great-grandmother dies after beaten by stranger in Oxnard

OXNARD, Calif. (KABC) -- A great-grandmother has died after being released from the hospital following a savage beating allegedly at the hands of a stranger while walking on the street in Oxnard.

It appeared at first she would survive, but the situation took a tragic turn. Now, the case against her suspected attacker may have changed significantly.

Amida Castro was just out walking when she was attacked.

At the hospital, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren surrounded her with love, trying to help her recover from a beating that was as violent as it was unexpected. She told her daughter, Marie Hamilton, that a transient approached her, smiling.

"I was sure that he was going to ask me for money. He was approaching me with a smile on his face, and he threw out a punch, and he hit me," Hamilton said, describing what her mother told her.

It just got worse. Adam Barcenas, 56, was arrested and charged with elder abuse for two assaults in Oxnard near 6th and A on April 13. An 80-year-old man was also attacked. But then, came the shocker.

Castro was discharged from the hospital, then died at home. The coroner determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma.

"I would just tell her that, 'Mom we are going to get to the bottom of this. This man hurt you,'" Hamilton said.

Barcenas appeared in court Wednesday having already pleaded not guilty to the elder abuse counts, which carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison. About more serious charges, potentially even murder, the Ventura County district attorney wants more evidence.

Now, detectives are seeking information from the scene of the crime, including tips from the public, video and anything that will help them get a clearer picture of what happened to present to the DA. If you have any relevant information on this case, the number to call is (805) 385-7860.

Castro's family joins in the appeal, demanding that Barcenas must be off the streets.

"Not just for her sake, but for anybody that this man can come across," Hamilton said.
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