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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Sheriff: Brooksville dad kills his two children, self

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.


However, the house at 975 Nodding Shade Drive was anything but, as it was the site of a double murder-suicide where a father took the lives of his two children, before turning the gun on himself.


Sheriff Al Nienhuis discussed the details of the double murder-suicide on Monday morning, which he said was perhaps incited by a recent divorce filing.


The shooter was identified as Daniel Castrillon-Oreggo, 39. The deceased children, Susana Castrillon, 8, and Sabastian Castrillon, 7, were students at Chocachatti Elementary School. Their mother, Luz Jimenez, 39, was not injured.


Nienhuis said Jimenez filed for divorce on Oct. 12 and moved out of the Nodding Shade Drive 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 place of employment. 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 her estranged husband.


"She apparently didn't become very concerned, she just thought he did not want to give up his visitation," Nienhuis said.


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.


Responding deputies found Sabastian Castrillon dead in his own bed with a single gunshot wound to the head. Nienhuis said it appeared the child was sleeping when he was shot.


Susana Castrillon, who also appeared to be asleep at the time of her death, was found in bed next to her father, and both had a single gunshot wound to the head as well.


Nienhuis said Castrillon-Oreggo left a suicide note, a "typical note of a disgruntled soon-to-be ex-husband."


Law enforcement believes 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.


"It's very difficult any time you have innocent children killed. It's even worse when they're killed by someone who is supposed to be there to take care of them," Nienhuis said.


"I feel for my deputies who had to deal with this last night," Nienhuis said, adding it was the same squad who responded to a "similar" murder suicide in Hernando Oaks in September.


Media Relations Specialist for Hernando County Schools, Roy Gordon, said Susana Castrillon was in third grade and Sebastian Castrillon in second grade.


Crisis teams were at the elementary school Monday morning, Gordon said.


"We got counselors, and for the most part that has been for the teachers," said Gordon. "Most of the students are unaware."


Gordon said the district put a call out to parents around 9:30 a.m. informing them of the tragedy and the option to pick their students up from the school if they wish.


"We've figured most of (the students) are to learn of the incident at their home," Gordon said. "There was a staff meeting and some of the teachers have taken it pretty hard. I think we had a couple substitutes for teachers who are in need of counseling."


Chocachatti principal Lara Silva could not be reached for comment.

Hernando Today reporter Matt Reinig contributed to this report.

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