Suicide at Grass Valley City Hall

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A woman committed suicide Wednesday morning in a restroom stall at Grass Valley City Hall, her body discovered minutes later by a city employee. Capt. Rex Marks, of the Grass Valley Police Department, said the body of the 31-year-old woman was discovered at 11:44 a.m. with the .40-caliber pistol she had used to shoot herself and a note to a family member. While declining to release the woman’s name, citing a police policy of not making public the identity of suicide victims – even when the death occurs in a public place – Marks did say that the woman was a Grass Valley resident. The death, which is being treated as a suicide, is apparently unconnected to the Grass Valley government offices the woman killed herself in. “She had not approached or had contact with anyone prior to the incident,” Marks said. “Why she was there was unknown.” The woman was pronounced dead at the scene from a single gunshot to the head, Marks said. Nevada County Coroner Sgt. Paul Smith said while an autopsy hadn’t taken place “it pretty much looks like suicide.” Marks said police have no evidence to suspect the woman had any relationship with the city that would result in her choice of City Hall to kill herself. The building was closed while an investigation continued. The initial report came in at 11:50 a.m. Linda Stevens, owner of Stevens Haircutting across East Main Street from city hall, said the government building was in lockdown early Wednesday afternoon. No one but emergency personnel was allowed to leave or enter the premises, she said. Grass Valley City Hall, 125 East Main Street, was to be closed for the rest of Wednesday, City Administrator Dan Holler said Wednesday afternoon. City Hall should reopen for full business operations Thursday, he said. Stevens said her business and East Main Street remained open as emergency workers went in and out of the government building. Part of the city hall parking lot was also closed, she said.