Escondido teen dies after Ariz. mountain fall

Posted at 5:18 AM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-01 17:55:46-04

An Escondido teen has died days after falling about 100 feet down a mountain in Arizona.

Makayla Castro, a freshman at Grand Canyon University, was hiking up the iconic Camelback Mountain in Phoenix with a friend last Wednesday when she fell.

Crews rushed Castro off the mountain and to the hospital, where she was in a coma with her parents by her side.

"She had finals to finish the following day," said her father, Larry Castro. "I actually went to the place where she climbed, and I'll tell you what, it's a very hard climb."

Castro graduated from San Pasqual High School last year, and across Escondido, pink ribbons are tied to trees in her honor.

"The outpour of people and the prayers … every time I think about it, I get emotional because it's been amazing," said Larry.

The teen's family issued a statement on the website CaringBridge after she passed away:

"We want to thank you all for loving, supporting and praying over Makayla. She fought so hard, but her injuries were just too much for her to overcome. We know she is in a good place and God is taking such good care of her. God must be so happy to have a perfect child with him. We have always felt that she was our Angel on earth but now she will be our Angel in Heaven and will be watching over all of us.

Makayla was the most amazing daughter, who always did the right thing and she was always mindful of being a good person no matter the circumstance. She so loved her friends and family with every ounce of her being. She was our shining light who shined brighter then I ever thought was possible and most importantly, anyone that ever met her knew she loved the Lord.   

I thanked Makayla for making me a better person and for showing all of us how to live life to the fullest, for being a loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend to everyone and for bringing our family closer to Christ.

She is the best person I have ever met. It was purely a gift from God that I got to be her mother for 18 years and I am so thankful for that, however, there is so much pain because I didn't just lose my perfect, sweet daughter, I lost my best friend. Our family is so very heartbroken. We find comfort in knowing she is with our Lord Savior and her spirit will always be with us. Her spirit will never die and we all feel a huge responsibility for making sure that we never let go of that. Our family is committed to making sure that we move her spirit forward on this earth through helping others to know the love and joy that Makayla had for the Lord. 

We all want to thank everyone around the world for praying over our sweet daughter. What we witnessed was that prayer worked for Makayla. We prayed that God have Makayla in his hands and bring her comfort and peace. Sometimes the way we see things and the way God sees things is two different things. God wanted her to be with him to be his newest Angel. He has brought her the ultimate in comfort, joy and peace. That's what keeps our family strong knowing that she is in a place that she wanted to be, walking beside the Lord.
This isn't good bye, but hopefully we will see you later my sweet baby girl.

We love you Makayla always and forever!

Mama, Daddio, Andy, Tyler, Larry Jr., Zach and your Kota Bear"

A GoFundMe page has been setup for Castro's family. For more information, click here.