Home Invasion

Brenda Greenwood, 24, was the mother of a one year old little girl. She and her daughter had moved into the home with her boyfriend Merced Costilla, 24, two or three weeks ago.

Before 12:40 pm on Monday morning the couple were in bed in the upstairs of their home, and they heard a noise downstairs.

Merced Costilla went downstairs to investigate. The noise he had heard was the sound of two men breaking into the home. After they shot him in the stomach, he fled upstairs but they chased him, so he fled back downstairs and exited the home. He heard gunfire in home.

Someone contacted police and report a bleeding man in the street. Responding officers found Brenda Greenwood, she had been shot multiple times. They also found the baby. She had been shot in the arm with the slug traveling into her body. But she was alive.

All three were taken to the hospital. Brenda Greenwood was pronounced dead at 1:10 am. The baby was in critical but stable condition. Police were able to interview the victim or victims. And they had recognized at least one of the men who broke into the home.

The person they said they recognized was Jaime Casillas, 26. Casillas was the father of the baby.

Brenda Greenwood and Casillas had argued about the baby earlier in the week, and the argument had prompted Greenwood to seek a protective order against Casillas.

Police located and arrested Jaime Casillas and have charged him with murder and two counts of attempted murder. Police are seeking information on the second man involved.

chicagotribune.com                         dailysouthtown.com 

thesuntimes.com                                     abclocal.go.com

You can’t wipe out the memory of a failed relationship by killing the other person, or even by killing the progeny of the relationship. Those memories will linger, as will the thought and the memory of their bleeding bodies.

But many times, they aren’t prompted by the memories. They are prompted by pride. How dare she disrespect him by ending the relationship! But tell me, how can a ‘man’ who is willing to kill the mother of his child even begin to think they deserve any respect? And did shooting his little child make him feel more like a big man?

The baby was born to two parents. A mother and a father. And if she lives, she will grow up without a mother or a father. And she will grow up with the scar that her ‘father’ gave her. She will grow up with the knowledge that her ‘father’ shot and tried to kill her. And many kids in this situation will grow up thinking their ‘father’ hated them.

Kids do not realize that parents in this type of situation do not really see them. All the person sees is their pride. A false pride, because they think that shooting a woman and a baby makes them worthy of ‘respect.’

And there was another victim in this also. He tried to live to live with them, to love them. And for that, he was shot too.


On Dec. 27 Brenda Greenwood told the court that Casillas had battered her and abducted their baby. The court issued a restraining order and ordered Casillas to give the baby back to Greenwood.

Instead of giving the baby back as ordered, Casillas showed up with the baby at the courthouse the next, where he attempted to file a restraining order on Greenwood. Officals removed the child from him and returned her to her mother.

The Casillas family has said that Casillas was at the home of a relative at the time of the shootings. Casillas’ brother was ask to come in for questioning, but he has told the media he refused on the advice of an uncle.

Casillas had previous convictions for domestic battery in 2005 and 2000 according to prosecutors.



Memorial site for Brenda Greenwood.

The Casillas family has said that Jaime Casillas was attending a family New Year’s Eve party at the time of the shooting.



Memorial Guestbook for Brenda Greenwood.



  1. Dawn Garcia said,

    January 3, 2007 at 6:52 am

    The pain of this is so hard to handle. She was such a beautiful and full of life young woman. Her daughter shares her beauty. Such a tragidy for the whole family, however a larger blow to her sister.

  2. January 3, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    my sister put a protection order saying she was scared for her life. My neice got shot twice, lung and shoulder shattering the bullet into her neck causing more damage. Somehow, Physically she is okay. She is not talking yet and stares and cries….THIS IS NOT RIGHT. I could almost get it if my sister was still with that…that..THING.but he turned the gun on the baby!!! My neice was not by my sister…HOW DO YOU SHOOT A BABY!!!!?!

    My neice was being changed at the hospital and she looked at me and pointed to her side where her bandages are and just pointed and looked back at me!! how do I?! I can’t do this I just saw them Friday so happy…this is not right

  3. January 3, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Holly, my heart is with you and with the baby and I am so sorry for your loss. I agree it isn’t right and it isn’t fair, but it is something you have to live with. With time and love, the baby will get better. And her memories will fade somewhat, and though she may not remember her mother, she can be told how much her mother loved her. Your memories will be harder to forget, and not all of them will be good ones. You start out by getting through one hour at a time, then one day at a time until you can look at your neice and smile again. Because you still have a beautiful little piece of your sister with you. And in time that will help to comfort you, as she gains her strength back. My best wishes to you and to her.

  4. Michele Kobus said,

    January 3, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    Holly, I am so sorry for you loss. You sound like a wonderful person, as does your sister and the REAL man she lived with.
    Stay strong for your neice, never stop telling her how much her Mom loved her and how much you love her. She will grow into a strong, loving person with your help.
    If there is ever anything I can do for you, let me know. For now I will add you to those for whom I pray.
    Much love and support

  5. January 4, 2007 at 1:24 am

    Thanks I appreciate it

  6. Linda Smith said,

    January 4, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Holly, although can’t express them, my thoughts are with you.


  7. Christine Baisley said,

    January 5, 2007 at 2:47 am

    Holly, I am so sorry for the lose of your sister. We pray that your niece will be ok. With you love and support, she may not remember. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    With Love,


    January 5, 2007 at 4:09 am

    im so sorry .my eyes are full of tears as i write this .god bless you all.i pray the rotten thing that done this to brenda and her poor baby gets what he deserves ,and i pray merced recovers throu all this also .and that he heals soon .and im praying for the sweet baby ..my prayers and heart goes out to you and the family .once again im deeply sorry .my cheeks are sobbing wet ..over this ,this is terriable !! may god watch over the baby and put his loveing hands arround her and pull her throu ..love to you all xxoo

  9. Becky J said,

    January 5, 2007 at 6:07 am

    Holly, i too have tears in my eyes as i read of this tragedy, words cant express how we all feel, everyone above has said everything that i would also say to you. Your job now is to remind that lovely little girl every day what a wonderful person her mother was and how much she loved her. God Bless you and the job you are taking on.

  10. Cheryl said,

    January 5, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Holly, I am so sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my prayers.

  11. bruce sims said,

    January 6, 2007 at 2:28 am

    may the b****** (edited per HSH) rot in hell for what he did -if there is anything i can do for you -talk- go for coffee anything call me at 773-736-2669 -i here for you

  12. January 6, 2007 at 3:45 am

    I have to ask that you please watch language. Sometimes child survivors come in and read, and many of the others have suffered hurt before and don’t need more.

  13. Niranjan said,

    January 6, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Very very nice & cool stuff
    U R most welcome.

  14. TABITHA HARDIN said,

    January 7, 2007 at 2:09 am


  15. Sherri S said,

    January 9, 2007 at 2:17 am

    My thoughts ans prayers are with your entire family as I’m sure this affects everyone who loves and cares about your sister and niece. You are already doing the best things you can do in this situation: You are loving your niece and being there for her to help her heal both physically and mentally. You are also helping to make others aware of dangers and heartache that cna happen in ANY domestic violence situation. You could be saving lives with this site. Keep on keepin’ on.

  16. gtwl said,

    May 2, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    UPDATES** Brenda was shot 10 times.

    3 pierced her lungs and fractured ribs amongst other details that I will not disclose until after the trial.

    3 hit her brain, and or cerebrum.

    those 6 were the ones that killed her.

    the other 4 were on her body in various parts.

    Also the link to Brenda’s site should be http://brenda-greenwood.memory-of.com

    I meant to comment earlier, but I just couldn’t.

    Thanks for all you do for everyone to see reality ~ Holly ~ Brenda’s sister

  17. shana marcano said,

    July 12, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    hi my name is shana and i used to be a good friend of brenda greenwoods i wanted to say that i sorry about what happend to her. i hope and pray everyday for whoever involved to be punished i cant understand why they had to take someone like her away she had such a good heart. i cant forget what happend i think about it everyday i keep praying for god to be with her and for god to be with her little daughter she didnt desearve to go through that i prayed and told brenda how i wished that someone close to her would get custody of her daughter she needs to be with her faimily so that she can someday know when she gets older how much her mother really loved her to this day i believe that the reason why she made was because her mother was a strong person and was by her daughters side helping her fight the hole time. i will admit that me and brenda were haveing our own problems (edited per HSH) although it broke my heart i had to live with that fact i would never wish for something like this to happen to her regardless of what others might say what really bothers me is before she died (edited per HSH) i talked to her on the phone for like and hour and brenda i want you to know im sorry about everything and i hope you can forgive me someday i think about you all of the time and i pray for god to be with you and your family i love you and will never forget you they took your life but your memory they will never take

  18. Dawn Garcia said,

    October 12, 2007 at 2:59 am

    Still not a day goes by that I dont think of you. One of the hardest days to date was the day I stood just a few feet from him in court. I know one day Mireya will be back with family, until then nothing will be right. You didnt deserve this, NO ONE does. I love you today and always.

  19. Jon S said,

    November 7, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    The healing power of God transcends above all things. Family members can be taken away from you, anytime, anywhere, so you must love them while you can. As a survivor of a home invasion just three days ago, I should know.

    There is something very wrong with this world and I firmly believe it needs a massive cleanup. A task like that is beyond human hands, and so, I think we’re gonna need a little bit of God to come through for us on this. And he has. He always has.

  20. Jon S. said,

    November 7, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    And Jaime Casillas, if this was done by your hand, you know what’s waiting for you. And nothing in all this very finite universe can stay the fate that will await you once you slip away. It was once called the “outer darkness” and it’s still called that for very good reason. And it’s waiting for you still. And it’s terrifying, lying out there beyond the edge of human existence, waiting to capture you and seal you away forever in murky blackness once you are done with this life.

  21. Holly said,

    December 31, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    wow hard to believe this was written almost three years ago and tonight after midnight will been 3 nights since this atrocious Assasination

  22. thejudicialcriminalsystemdestroys said,

    September 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I guess it didn’t did it.

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