EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Two teens found dead during a search for a vehicle Tuesday night south of Fountain were victims of a murder-suicide, authorities confirmed Wednesday.
Law enforcement activity near I-25 close to MM I-25.
A candlelight vigil was held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday for the victim, Mya Pena. You can watch it at the top of this article.
The body of Pena and the suspect were found inside a car along a frontage road off I-25 near the Ray Nixon exit (125) shortly after a BOLO alert went out.
"Our dispatch center aired a 'be on the lookout' with a specific vehicle description. ... A law enforcement official was out here. We had the State Patrol assisting. We also had our deputies our here searching for that specific vehicle description that was aired on the radio, and they’re the ones that came across the two found deceased bodies," said El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Sgt. Deborah Mynatt.
According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, who is heading the investigation, a 17-year-old girl from Littleton, identified as Pena, was killed in Douglas County, then driven south by 18-year-old Samuel Hoffman, who shot himself inside the vehicle as law enforcement closed in on the car.
"There was a communication in reference to possibly shots fired in the area," Mynatt said Tuesday night, prior to the new information about the murder-suicide.
The female victim has not been identified, but the Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirms she had been reported missing.
The frontage road was shut down for several hours while deputies sifted through the scene. The interstate remained open.
"Our hearts go out to the families of both of these young people whose lives were lost," said Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock. “We know this is a difficult time for friends and family, we want you to know that we mourn with you. We will work diligently to find answers for everyone involved.”
Wednesday afternoon the Douglas County Sheriff laid out a brief timeline from investigators. Authorities believe the 17-year-old victim was picked up from school by the suspect at about 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday. The suspect then drove to a parking lot outside of the high school and killed the victim sometime between 3:15 and 3:30 p.m., according to authorities. The suspect's vehicle was spotted off I-25 near mile marker 125. When authorities tried to make contact with the suspect, the suspect reportedly took his own life at about 7:45 p.m.
Citing the ongoing investigation, authorities said further information would not be released at this time.