Investigators have determined that the couple committed intentional suicide by asphyxiation, and that no foul play was involved, sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said.
A volunteer who patrols the area discovered the two bodies at the far end of a remote campground nestled among oak trees in Los Padres National Forest. The campground is accessible via Red Hill Road, west of the Carrizo Plain and about five miles south of Highway 58.
The volunteer had checked the site about a week before and noticed the tent but “was struck by the fact that he didn’t see anyone,” Forest Service spokesman Andrew Madsen said in June. When the man spotted the tent again a week later, he considered it unusual and went to check on the campers’ welfare.
Dental records were used to positively identify 59-year-old Cynthia Miller. Positive identification is still pending for the other person in the tent, though he is believed to be Cynthia’s husband, Gregg.
“The process to identify the subjects was lengthy,” Cipolla wrote in a news release.
The Forest Service doesn’t track how many people stay at the campground, which has about five campsites and no running water.