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Murder-suicide suspected in death of two found in crashed vehicle east of Santa Margarita

The discovery of two bodies inside a vehicle Wednesday near Santa Margarita is now being investigated as a murder-suicide, authorities announced Thursday.

The man and woman have been identified as 22-year old Hugo Enrique Serrantos Castillo of Atascadero and 19-year-old Stephanie Rodriguez of Templeton.

Sheriff's detectives have not yet disclosed who may have killed whom, and the "matter and cause of death are still pending," Sheriff's Department spokesman Rob Bryn said on Thursday. Details on which body was found in the driver's and passenger's seats have also not been disclosed.

The discovery was reported at 4:59 a.m. Wednesday when Rodriguez's vehicle was found on its side down an embankment off Highway 58 near Red Hill Road.

The make and model of her car were not available Thursday afternoon.

Authorities believe they died prior to that time, but further details on the suspected time frame were not given. Detectives are continuing to investigate leads.

Autopsies will be conducted on Friday. Core body temperatures and autopsy findings will help authorities determine when and how the deaths occurred.

-Tonya Strickland

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