Authorities say Pittsburg woman committed suicide
By Roger McKinney
COLUMBUS, Kan. — A Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department investigation has concluded that a Pittsburg woman who was found dead May 21 in her car near Weir shot herself, chief Detective Doug Wydick said Wednesday.
Janet McMurray’s autopsy, on file in the Cherokee County District Court clerk’s office, stated McMurray died of a single gunshot wound to her chest. The bullet went through her body and entered the car seat behind her.
The autopsy was performed by Dr. Erik Mitchell, with Frontier Forensics, Topeka, on May 22. His final report was filed Aug. 30.
Mitchell wrote that he had received information from investigators that McMurray was found dead in her vehicle and had partially wrapped herself in a blue tarp. A gun was found inside the car. He wrote that notes were found indicating that she had self-destructive thoughts and that she was on methamphetamines and benzodiazepines, a sedative.
Mitchell wrote that her body remained partially encased in the blue, plastic tarp when the autopsy began. She was wearing a wrist band labeled “admit one.”
The toxicology report notes that McMurray’s blood contained fluoxetine, an antidepressant, at a higher concentration than is used for standard therapeutic treatment and was at the lower border range for fluoxetine-induced deaths.
The concentration of methamphetamines in her blood was in the range where death can occur, according to the report.