Murder-suicide suspected in case of bodies found off Highway 58

The discovery of two bodies inside a vehicle near Santa Margarita is now being investigated as a possible murder-suicide. The man and woman found in the vehicle Wednesday 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.

Details on which body was found in the driver’s and passenger’s seats have also not been disclosed.

Rodriguez graduated from Templeton High School in 2009. Assistant Principal Erik Lewis remembers her as someone who “always put in 100 percent.”

“She was just a really sweet, outgoing girl,” Lewis said. “A great kid and always had a smile on her face.”

Lewis taught at the high school for 15 years and had Rodriguez in three classes before taking his current job.

It could not be determined Thursday where Castillo attended high school, nor could the families of either individual be reached.

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

The discovery was reported at 5 a.m. Wednesday when Rodriguez’s vehicle was found on its side down an embankment off Highway 58 near Red Hill Road.

Authorities believe Castillo and Rodriguez 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 today. Core body temperatures and autopsy findings are expected to help authorities determine when and how the deaths occurred.