BROOKSVILLE – The Nodding Shade Drive home, with Halloween decorations in the front yard and an SUV in the driveway, looked like many others in the Trillium subdivision, just south of Brooksville.
But inside, deputies say a man distraught about an impending divorce shot and killed his two children as they slept before turning the gun on himself.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis spoke with reporters at 8:30 a.m. Monday morning about a double murder-suicide at 975 Nodding Shade Dr.
Hernando County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Daniel Castrillon-Oreggo, 39, dead from a single gunshot wound to his head in a bed in the home at 975 Nodding Shade Drive. Next to him lay his daughter, Susana Castrillon, 8. Sabastian Castrillon 7, was found dead in his own bed with a single gunshot wound to the head.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis said Castrillon-Oreggo left a suicide note “typical note of a disgruntled soon-to-be ex-husband.”
The children were second- and third-grade students at Chocachatti Elementary School. Their mother, Luz Jimenez, was not injured.
Nienhuis said Jimenez filed for divorce on Oct. 12 and moved out of their home, and that Castrillon-Oreggo had visitation with his children on the weekends.
On Friday, Castrillon-Oreggo picked up his children from school, and later got into an argument with Jimenez at her work, Hibiscus Springs Rental Homes. Nienhuis said the two spoke later Friday evening about Castrillon-Oreggo returning to his native Colombia after the divorce was finalized.
Nienhuis said Jimenez was supposed to pick up her children to go to a birthday party on Saturday, but was unable to contact Castrillon-Oreggo.
“She apparently didn’t become very concerned,” Nienhuis said. “She just thought he did not want to give up his visitation.”
Jimenez tried to contact Castrillon-Oreggo and her children multiple times on Sunday before she called the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office around 7:30 p.m.
“It’s very difficult any time you have innocent children killed,” Nienhuis said. “It’s even worse when they’re killed by someone who is supposed to be there to take care of them.”
Law enforcement believe the shootings took place on Friday or Saturday night. Castrillon-Oreggo did not have any prior arrests, Nienhuis said. Property records show Castrillon-Oreggo purchased the home in 2006.
“I feel for my deputies who had to deal with this (Sunday) night,” Nienhuis said, adding it was the same squad who responded to a “similar” murder-suicide in Hernando Oaks in September.
Grief counselors were at Chocachatti Elementary School on Monday.
Court records show Jimenez and Castrillon-Oreggo were married in September 2007. Documents indicate the marriage was “irretrievably broken.”
Michael Morgan, who lives a few doors down from the Castrillon-Oreggo home, said Susana and Sabastian seemed like “perfectly normal kids.”
Morgan said he would see them when he took his siblings to a nearby pool.
“You’d think there was nothing wrong,” Morgan said.
Kathleen Vogtle, a communication coordinator with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
Vogtle said NAMI statistics indicated about 90 percent of those who commit suicide are diagnosed with a mental illness.
“A lot of times preventing suicides falls in with making sure someone who has a diagnosis gets treated,” Vogtle said, adding the chances of suicide increases when an individual goes through an isolating event, such as getting a divorce or becoming a widow.