A 36-year-old Payson woman died Monday morning in her car in the Payson Village Shopping Center parking lot, about a half-mile from her home, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said the woman, a therapeutic masseuse who worked out of her home, was seen as early as 6 a.m. parked in her 1991 Ford in front of the Ponderosa Steakhouse off Highway 260.
Maintenance workers in the shopping center parking lot reported seeing the car parked in front of the restaurant some three hours before police were called. He said the maintenance workers did not check the interior of the vehicle.
Just before 9 a.m., an employee of the steakhouse, saw the woman in her car and called police, saying she had a gun.
Engler said police proceeded with caution, and found the woman dead at the scene, a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun still in her right hand and a brief note beside her saying who she was and giving the names of family members to contact. Engler said the brief note gave no explanation for what appeared to be a well-planned suicide.
He said he talked to the woman's parents in Phoenix and learned that she was having financial problems.
"There's no further investigation," Engler said.
"It's very clear that it was a suicide. There were no signs of foul play -- it appeared to be a planned event."