GONE COLD | Widow creates triumph out of tragedies

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Gone Cold is an ongoing series, where 11Alive Journalist Jessica Noll investigates some of the most infamous and lesser-known cold cases in Georgia. She’s digging for answers for the still-grieving families who long for them and the victims who have never found their justice.

ACWORTH, Ga. – Kelley Castlin-Gacutan gently traces her dapper husband’s face with her finger on a photograph of him grinning and sharply dressed in a black tuxedo, complete with a neatly positioned bow tie.

“He loved us so much; he loved family. He loved life. He was ambitious. He was funny, smart, very good looking,” she said, doting on Rodney Castlin.

Every single day, she hears his laughter and his calming voice, “Just wait and see… you’ll see.”

“He was wise beyond his years,” Kelley, 47, remembered, beaming with undeniable pride.

“He would just tell me, ‘You’ll see. You just keep on living, you’ll start to see some of these things that I’m telling you about.’”

One day, her husband, Rodney, told her, “People change. Life changes. Things are not always going to be the same.”

Kelley, then-31, could not have realized that one of those changes would be not having him in her life.

“Rodney was such a good person—I mean, probably one of the most painful things, when I think about how he left us, is that I know that he was thinking of us when he saw that person put a gun in his face. I know that.”

Now, she thinks of him and their life together and knows that he is still with her, guiding her into new chapters, including helping others with kindness and generosity.

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