Model’s chilling premonition before death
AN aspiring model who fell to her death while hiking with her boyfriend in Oregon in 2009 joked to family members before her passing that her partner would either give her a ring or "throw me off a cliff".
Rhonda Casto, 23, was discovered dead at the bottom of a ravine in March 2009. She was hiking on the Eagle Creek Trail in Oregon with her boyfriend, Steve Nichols.
The young mother's death appeared to be an accident, but an investigation was launched after Ms Castos' family felt Mr Nichols had something to do with her death, Fox News reports.
Ms Casto's family also said she made a cryptic statement before she fell to her death regarding Mr Nichols, who is the father of their daughter, Ava.
"She told my mother and my sister that 'he is either going to give me a ring or throw me off a cliff, ha ha ha,'" Julia Simmons, Ms Casto's mother, told Maria Elena Salinas on her show The Real Story with Maria Elena Salinas.
"She made a joke of it."
Ms Simmons did not believe her daughter was joking about Mr Nichols. Following Ms Casto's death, her family went to police and said they believed Mr Nichols pushed the young woman.
"We all told him [the detective] we believe that Steve pushed her," Ms Simmons told Salinas. "This is not an accident."
The grieving mother said authorities listened to the family's account but barred them from seeing Mr Nichols.
"Police wouldn't let me see him because they knew I was enraged," she said.
Mr Nichols was arrested in February 2015, almost six years after his his girlfriend's death, and charged with murder.
The Oregonian reported that Mr Nichols increased the life insurance policy on Ms Casto to $1 million just months before her cliff fall.
However, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled an interview with Mr Nichols after his arrest was inadmissible. A lead detective also destroyed crime scene and autopsy photos.
The charge against Mr Nichols was dropped in May last year.
However, as part of a plea deal, Mr Nichols pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and coercion. Under the deal, Mr Nichols received three years of probation, with credit for 19 months of jail time.
Mr Nichols claims he had nothing to do with his girlfriend's death.
This article originally appeared in Fox News and was republished with permission.