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On most mornings, Karina Reyes would run into Rachel Castillo around their Simi Valley apartment complex as the two mothers took their children to school.
Reyes bumped into 25-year-old Castillo and her ex-husband, Zarbab Ali, at a recent Halloween event, where the couple dressed in Super Mario Bros. costumes with their sons, ages 2 and 5.
The two mothers were planning a playdate with their children, so it came as a shock when police knocked on Reyes’ door and asked if she heard anything from Castillo’s apartment on Thursday. She hadn’t.
The young mother’s disappearance cast a “cloud” over the quiet complex, according to residents who mingle in its tidy, green courtyards, tennis courts and swimming pool.