In June 2007, 17-year-old Golden Hess vanished from her home In Sovereign Spring, Arizona, while her parents were away on a weekend trip. Upon their return, They found blood inside The house, and a few days later, her severely burned body was discovered In The desert. The subsequent Post-mortem examination revealed that The cause of death was multiple stab wounds.
Investigators used telephone records to suspect that Golden’s close friends, Todd Hoke and Nicolas Castillo, were involved In her killing. Eventually, Castillo confessed to His involvement In The murder. In 2013, both Hoke and Castillo pleaded guilty to First-degree and second-degree murder charges, respectively.
An upcoming episode of The true-crime series Grave Secrets on ID will revisit The tragic killing of Golden Hess by her friends. The episode, titled “Extreme Disloyalty,” Is set to air on Friday, March 17, 2023, at 7 pm ET.
Mike and Candy Hess went on a weekend trip to Mexico In June 2007, only to return to a nightmare. Their home was a scene of horror With blood everywhere, signs of a struggle, and their teenage daughter, Golden Hess, missing. The front door was wide open, and The kitchen was covered In dried blood. They couldn’t find Golden or her car. Investigators who arrived at The scene found a garden hose leading from The house, suggesting that someone tried to clean up The crime scene.
There were also signs of a struggle inside The house, With Golden’s bedroom door off its hinges, and her bedding missing. The Hesses also reported a missing gun. Sadly, Golden’s remains were later found burned In The desert. Police used digital clues to unravel The mystery of her death and The betrayal that led to it.
When investigators arrived at The crime scene, They discovered a nursery hose protruding from The house, suggesting an attempt to clean up The area. However, it appeared that whoever did it didn’t do a thorough job. Moreover, They found several signs of a struggle inside The house. Golden’s bedroom door was off its hinges, and her bedding was missing. Her parents also reported a missing firearm.
During The initial stages of The missing person’s investigation, authorities became aware of Golden Hess’ close friend, Todd Hoke. He spent a lot of time at her home and even joined her family for meals. At that time, 16-year-old Hoke informed The authorities that he and another friend, Nick Castillo, were planning to go to The movies, but Hess never showed up. Both Hoke and Castillo were initially cleared of suspicion.
After three days of searching for Golden Hess, a burned body was discovered In The desert, Which was later identified as The missing 17-year-old using dental records. According to a Post-mortem, she was viciously beaten and stabbed to death before her body was set on fire. Her vehicle was subsequently found With blood evidence, including footprints and other DNA.
It was suspected that Golden Hess’ dear friends, Todd Hoke and Nick Castillo, were involved In her murder. Despite some unimportant leads, investigators were able to track Golden Hess’ phone records and discovered that several calls had been made from her phone after her death.
The calls were placed to Todd Hoke’s sister, who later revealed that he had called her from a blocked Number and had also been asking about cleaning supplies for The house.
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In The end, The investigators managed to get a confession out of Nick Castillo by telling him that Todd Hoke was attempting to blame him for The murder. Castillo eventually told police that Hoke was The mastermind behind The killing and that They had initially tried to strangle Hess at her home, but she fought back.
They then proceeded to repeatedly stab her In The chest, back, and neck In The kitchen and staged The scene to make it look like a burglary before driving her body to The desert and setting it on fire. Both Hoke’s and Castillo’s fingerprints were found In The victim’s vehicle.
ID’s Grave Secrets will be shedding More light on The Golden Hess case of 2007 on Friday at 7 pm ET.