Family, friends remember athlete murdered on I-20

- Family and loved ones of murdered Crossfit athlete Rodrigo Castillo gathered at his Cobb County training center to pay tribute to his life and call for leads in his murder. 

The 33-year-old was shot and killed Aug. 3 as he drove along Interstate 20, and authorities have no motive and no suspects. 

"This was completely out of the blue and absolutely senseless," Castillo's cousin Rita Natalia Castells-Esquval said. "We need answers. We're hoping the police provides us  a resolution... This is going to keep happening to other people." 

Castillo was a dedicated elite Crossfit athlete who trained at Caffeinated Crossfit in Cobb County. He worked as a financial analyst, having graduated from Emory University in 2008. 

Friends chose to hold a candlelight vigil and share memories of Castillo at the gym Friday evening to show support to his family. They called him a caring and giving friend who coached many fellow athletes to reach their fitness goals. 

"It doesn't make sense. I still can't make sense of it," one friend told FOX 5. 

Officers responded to a call of gunshots on I-20 near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive just after midnight on Friday, Aug. 3. They discovered Castillo with a gunshot wound. He did not survive.

Atlanta Police said Castillo was driving a silver 2009 Volkwagon Jetta and asked anyone with information to come forward. 

"Anyone who was traveling on I-20 westbound and past Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive who saw anything or noticed anything suspicious, we encourage them to call us and speak with us about what they saw," said Lt. Andrea Webster with the Atlanta Police Homicide Unit.

Hours before his death, police said Castillo was on a date Thursday night in downtown Decatur with a woman he met through dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, and said they visited the Kimball House and Leon's Full Service. Police are asking anyone who saw the pair to call investigators to provide more details. 

Police said they located the woman later this week  and she has remained cooperative with investigators. She is not considered a suspect in the case. 

In the days after friends learned of Castillo's death, numerous members of the community rallied to share stories about their beloved friend. 

"He doesn't have an evil bone in his body. This is not supposed to happen to people like him," said friend Richard McAlister, with whom he would compete in fitness competitions. 

"We're all looking for those answers and that justice because I don't understand how this could have happened," said Jessica Dahn, who told FOX 5 he stood by her through her physical training and recovery from cancer. "He was probably one of the biggest cheerleaders and biggest coaches in my life." 

The GoFundMe Page created to help with family expenses has raised more than $16,000. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Atlanta Police or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS. Tipsters can remain anonymous and receive a reward up to $2,000. 


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