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Doraville woman found dead in car ruled suicide

LAWRENCEVILLE - A 27-year-old Doraville woman found dead in her car last week apparently committed suicide, according to police.

Maria Guadalupe Villegas at first appeared to be the victim of a car accident when her four-door Buick was found in a ditch shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday in the Liberty Heights community on Rufus Place. Authorities soon discovered that Villegas died of a gunshot wound to the head, and the homicide unit took over the investigation.

Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's Office and the Gwinnett County Police Homicide Unit determined Villegas's death was a suicide, police announced Monday.

There were several findings that led investigators to that conclusion, said Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

First, blood spatter analysis determined no one else was in the car at the time Villegas was shot, and there was evidence of a press-contact wound to the right temple. Also, the gunshot came from a weapon found inside the vehicle, Moloney said.

Finally, Villegas reportedly had soot on her right index finger consistent with having fired the gun. Further investigation also indicated Villegas was suffering from depression due to work and personal

relationships.