Lady in the White Mercedes
A few weeks ago I was sent to the parking garage of an exclusive resort where a woman was sitting in her white Mercedes with the engine running. A garden hose was protruding from the exhaust pipe leading into the rear window. A citizen approached the woman and asked what she was doing. The woman replied she was fine and asked to be left alone. The citizen yanked the hose out of the tailpipe and the woman drove off. The person memorized the license plate and called police.
By the time I arrived with another officer, the woman was gone but we looke up her address using the license plate number. We drove to her house and found her inside relaxing on a couch. Her husband answered the door and we told him what had just happened with his wife. He nodded his head and told us she had been suffering from severe depression and was under a doctor's care. He called her psychiatrist and assured us he would get her the help she needed. The whole time we were there the woman kept repeating, "It's just a misunderstanding. I'm fine." They did not want any assistance from us or from the fire department so we left them to work out their problems.
Last night I heard an attempted suicide call come over the radio but I was en route to a car theft in progress so I didn't hear all the details. After I was finished with my auto theft call I was asked to come take photographs of the suicide scene.
As I pulled up to the dead end street in an upscale desert community, I immediately recognized the older white Mercedes. I could see two garden hoses coming out of the rear window connected to the car's exhaust pipe. There was crime scene tape strung around the car and nearby desert area. As I approached I saw a white towel on the ground outside the driver's door and a large pool of blood. A pair of women's shoes and glasses were placed neatly on the ground next to the towel.
Two homicide detectives were on the scene conducting an unknown death investigation. They told me a resident found the woman sitting in her car with the engine running. She saw the hoses and went back inside her house and called police. When officers arrived they found her lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head. A search of her car revealed a two page suicide note, a handgun case, a box of ammunition, and a receipt for the gun purchase. A separate receipt showed she paid for a one hour shooting lesson at an indoor range. The gun and lesson were purchased earlier in the day.
As I took photographs of the scene, the woman's cell phone rang again and again. The detective verified the missed calls were from her husband and children. Officers and a Sergeant drove to the victim's house to notify her husband of her death. He answered the door and asked stoically, "Is this about my wife?". The officers replied, "Yes." He then asked, "Is she dead?" and the he was told, "Yes." He was not surprised since she had apparently attempted this many times in the past. Their teenage children were very upset by the news even though they were aware of their mom's depression and history with suicide attempts.
I'll never understand what makes a person want to take their own life. From outward appearances, this woman seemed to have a good life. It's a shame she wasn't able to conquer whatever demons she had inside her. It's another her husband and kids will probably associate the holiday season with her unexplainable death.