Woman commits suicide inside her vehicle at Cowell Park in Concord

January 17, 2011 10:52 am · 80 comments

This morning around 5:40, a woman killed herself inside a vehicle in the parking lot of Cowell Park.

The woman has not been identified.

1 David Molstad January 17, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I cannot imagine the torment that one must endure prior to taking ones own life. The torment of the family and friends is a horrible experience as well, that I have experience with.

The desperate sorrow….the fear….unimaginable fear of facing another day.

2 Anon January 17, 2011 at 11:07 AM

I saw the police activity this morning….very sad.

3 Anon January 17, 2011 at 11:10 AM

When I drove by there on my way to work there were at least six patrol cars at the park. I knew there must have been something pretty serious happening. Very sad.

4 9 deuce daisy January 17, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Wow, that is sad. I hope she found her peace.

5 Some Guy January 17, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Can anyone describe the car? There’s someone I’m worried about.

6 TheYellowRanger January 17, 2011 at 11:15 AM

This is very sad and hits home for me. I had a friend who took his life in a similar way. My condolences to the family, this will be a hard time.

If you click my user name it will take you to my blog where I posted a story I wrote about it. Scroll down to the bottom to start with part 1. Writing this story helped me find some closure during that time.

7 MissMelyssa January 17, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Oh, that is sad.

@David – I agree. It is unfortunate that they felt they had no one to turn to. Sad. Very sad.

8 Connie Dobbs January 17, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Her poor family.

9 The Anonymous Student January 17, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Not a good way to start the week Concord.

10 Andrea January 17, 2011 at 11:40 AM

My condolences to any family. I don’t know the nature of her suicide, but there are a lot of depressed unemployed people out there, including myself. I know I don’t have the guts to pull it off.

11 PollyP January 17, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Any word on type of car? I know someone in that areas who had been having some major issues lately….

12 anonamom January 17, 2011 at 12:11 PM

I’m so selfish. Every time I see the bad news like this, or yesterday’s accident, I pray it isn’t someone I know, Now, I also pray it isn’t one of Claycord’s family. And if it were, would we ever know…or notice we hadn’t heard from some one of us with a unique name for a while…

I’ve noticed a couple of names missing, but hope they are just “gone fishing”.

13 Life is good January 17, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Most people do not realize it really is the end, there has to be some mental illness going on, that could be helped. It is a very self centered act and anyone in their right mind would not go through with it knowing what it does to everyone involved.
My thoughts and Prayers are with the family.

14 cici January 17, 2011 at 12:17 PM

@ SOME GUY…. I am so sorry you are worried about someone, I pray it is not them. :(

15 The 4th Horseman January 17, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Plus, you can’t hang out in Concord parks during hours of darkness…

16 Phoenyx January 17, 2011 at 12:45 PM

@David sadly I have experience with that too. I have a lot of sympathy for this woman’s family & friends. Very sad.

17 Fred January 17, 2011 at 12:51 PM

“Not a good way to start the week Concord.”

You would have preferred a gang shooting, hookers or an armed robbery better?? Just wait — they will probably happen also. Just another day in the hood.


18 Mr. Mayor January 17, 2011 at 12:52 PM

The woman was possibly a cop for another agency outside of Concord. She was driving an SUV.

19 anon January 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

So it goes

20 frank January 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Waiting to hear it was really not a suicide but another gang murder.

21 stupid people January 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM

at least do it where there arnt kids and people that use such places. Like go jump off a bridge if your that messed up in the head. Losers only take there own lives. I bet she quit a lot of things such as life

22 marchbubbles January 17, 2011 at 1:27 PM

They vehicle was a smaller SUV, covered with a yellow tarp. My heart goes out to her surviving family.
I can relate to how she must have been feeling. These past few years have been so difficult on me and my family. Loosing our home, all our savings, then having my body give out and require multiple surgeries has left me drained emotionally and physically, and now heavier.
We have lost so much, including health I can only hope there is something good on it’s way this year.
I am grateful that I am still married and have healthy children, it’s my only saving grace.

23 hmm January 17, 2011 at 1:34 PM

She had what looked like a (slightly) older Greenish Isuzu .. I didn’t get a great look though.

@#17 Fred — Why would you assume that by someone saying “not a good way to start the week in Concord” they mean they would rather have a violent crime with victims?

24 liz January 17, 2011 at 1:40 PM

God rest her soul and may she be at peace. Condolences to her family, very sad indeed.

25 TinFoiler January 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Was it a suicide, or was she Suicided?
I’ll wait until Her name is released. Maybe She was about to be a whistleblower. Need to look at all angles.
Re: DC Madam, John Wheeler and many more suicided.

26 anon January 17, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Extremely sad. Condolences to her family and her friends. To take one’s own life must be a desperate act of an individual that feels they have no hope.
Sad also that she took her life in a park where children might stumble upon the sight. But then again the individual may not be thinking quite clearly……
Sad any way you look at this……

27 poollady January 17, 2011 at 1:58 PM

So they don’t think she is Concord PD right? I am so sorry that she felt this was the way to handle her issues.

28 observer January 17, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Let’s hope that it wasn’t the woman who was being stalked by Huey in his airplane.

29 ChampagneKitty January 17, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Someone who used to work in my office committed suicide. She drove out to the Grand Canyon, to a spot called “Angel’s Overlook” and jumped. I agree with Life is Good #13. I’m not sure if she thought through what her decision did to all of those who mourned her.

30 The Anonymous Student January 17, 2011 at 2:19 PM


Actually I would have preferred none of those to have happened, but I appreciate you assuming it. I was merely remarking that 2 people have died in less than 24 hours, and over the weekend there was also a gang shooting which in my book makes it a bad weekend/start of the week.

31 G-Sphere January 17, 2011 at 2:23 PM

I don’t know any of the circumstances here, but I had a friend that was a police officer. He lasted about 8 years. The stress of the job caused his family to implode and he eventually had to quit the force.
I know there is a lot of bashing that goes on and a lot of hateful rhetoric. I just want to say that those men and women in blue pay a huge hidden toll to protect us. It is sad that their contributions are not fully recognized.

32 calco January 17, 2011 at 2:24 PM


33 Mad Mom January 17, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Very sad. My condolences to her family & friends.

Too bad we always have to endure the hurtful comments at times like this. I guess they are part of what makes the respectful comments so much more meaningful. Thank you Mayor for giving us all a place to gather.

34 Grumpy Old Man January 17, 2011 at 3:30 PM

R.I.P. who ever you are…I pray you were a designated organ donor.
Thank you Mayor for keeping us informed.

35 Shasta Daisy January 17, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Prayers to her family and friends.

36 anonymous January 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Everyone – please check in on friends and relatives this month. January is the highest suicide month of the year and the 22nd is the highest day. It seems every year I hear of someone committing suicide in January. This year is was a friend of my son’s in Austin, TX. Depression hits a lot of people this time of year.

37 FrenchFriesandRanch January 17, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Not trying to be crude, but today IS known as the most depressing day of the year.

My thoughts go to this woman’s family. May she live in peace.

38 David Molstad January 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I drove by the park and the Solono Way location today. The foggy smoggy air that filtered the Sun was no help.

It is indeed a sad day. Those that are gone, we can only wish well for whatever there is once we die for we can only speculate what lies beyond our life here. For those left behind, an enduring heart ache. I will pray for speedy recovery for those family member. I pray their recovery, their heart pain, lessens as time goes by. Mine has not, I pray they fare better….

39 B January 17, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Just curious, why is it concidered the most depressing month of the year, and why the 22nd?

40 You have no clue..... January 17, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Stupid People @ # 21, your comments are ignorant, cruel, and lack any compassion for an obviously suffering human being. How sad for you to go through life angry, immature, hateful and lacking an intelligent core.
He/she did not choose an ideal location to commit such an act I realize this, but then again they were probably not in their right state of mind. At least they had a mind…..

41 Chaz January 17, 2011 at 5:50 PM

A wise person once told me something that has really become egrained in my brain — “SUICIDE IS A PERMANENT SOLUTION TO A SHORT-TERM PROBLEM.” Not that it helps this lady or her family but maybe it might reasonate with someone you know. RIP

42 Bbs January 17, 2011 at 6:00 PM

21, your grammar is absoulutly horrible. You sound like the stupid person to me.

43 FrenchFriesandRanch January 17, 2011 at 6:11 PM

It has to do with the awful weather, and the fact that we are coming out of the holiday season with lots of maxed out credit cards and not enough money.

Also, did you know that Washington State has the highest suicide rate in the country? Also because of the awful weather.

44 Sher January 17, 2011 at 6:31 PM

It is the most depressing month of the year because there tends to be a lull after the feastivities of the holidays. It is also the darkest time of the year. One goes the most days without seeing the sunshine during this month.

45 Sher January 17, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Blue Monday (Also known as Black Monday) is a name given to a date stated, as part of a publicity campaign by Sky Travel, to be the most depressing day of the year.

This date was published in a press release under the name of Cliff Arnall, at the time a tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, a Further Education centre attached to Cardiff University. Guardian columnist Dr Ben Goldacre reported that the press release was delivered substantially pre-written to a number of academics by Public Relations agency Porter Novelli, who offered them money to put their names to it.[1] The Guardian later printed a statement from Cardiff University distancing themselves from Arnall: “Cardiff University has asked us to point out that Cliff Arnall… was a former part-time tutor at the university but left in February.”[2]

According to a press release by a mental health charity[3], the formula is:

where weather=W, debt=d, time since Christmas=T, time since failing our new year’s resolutions=Q, low motivational levels=M and the feeling of a need to take action=Na. ‘D’ is not defined in the release, nor are units.

Arnall says the date was calculated by using many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action. Writing about the calculation, Ben Goldacre stated: … the fact is that Cliff Arnall’s equations … fail even to make mathematical sense on their own terms.[1]

This date allegedly falls on the Monday of the last full week of January. The date was declared by Arnall to be 24 January in 2005,[4] 23 January in 2006,[5] 22 January in 2007,[6] 21 January in 2008,[7] 19 January in 2009[8], 18 January in 2010 and 24 January in 2011 [9]

Mr Arnall also says, in a press release commissioned by Wall’s ice cream,[10] that he has calculated the happiest day of the year – in 2005, 24 June,[11] in 2006, 23 June,[12] in 2008, 20 June,[13] in 2009, 19 June[14] and in 2010, 18th June.[15] So far, this date has fallen close to Midsummer.

46 Mike January 17, 2011 at 6:58 PM

My condolensces to this person’s family. If it was an LEO special condolences to their coworkers. Your work is appreciated.

47 @fred January 17, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Very insightful Fred. Thankful we live in ‘the hood’ where we’re informed about our surroundings and not in walnut creek/Danville/moraga/Lafayette where it all still happens but we like to pretend it doesn’t so we can tell concord residents they live in ‘the hood’. :)

48 B-rye January 17, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Sometimes the hardest person to wrestle is yourself.

I am sorry for the families loss, but coming from someone who feels the same way she did.. I’d have to call her brave

49 Balderdash January 17, 2011 at 7:54 PM

While the above formula for the most depressing day seems logical, I noticed that this past week and weekend, I felt more ‘up’ and encouraged and energetic and ready to do things than I have in a long time. I cannot attribute to a great occurrence. Other than that the sun was out on Saturday, but it has been foggy the past two days. I feel like spring is on the way, the grass is greener, the holiday bustle is over, trees are almost ready to bud, the grass is growing, the leaves have stopped falling, I am making progress at cleaning off my desk…spring is on the way, warmer days are just around the corner…I think his formula is hogwash.

50 Antler January 17, 2011 at 8:15 PM

B-rye at #48 ~ ~ ~ The one constant is that no matter how bad things seem at any one given moment, something BETTER is coming eventually. Please remember that alcohol is a depressant to the entire body, including the brain, and try your best to stay away from it completely. Exercise if you can to get those endorphins working for you. And keep talking to all of us because maybe one of us will be able to say something that will help you a lot. We’ll at least try, but you need to give us some specifics about what is bothering you so deeply. Then each of us will know if he has experience or advice to help you.

51 anonymous January 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

B @39

I’m anonymous at @ 36. I learned about the high suicide rate a few years ago when I did a little research. I realized that every year I knew someone who either committed suicide, became very depressed or had a breakdown in January. In the research I did, suicide statistics were used to determine the date.

Make friends and relatives aware of this – they always feel they are alone when actually they are not. A lot of people are depressed this time of year.

52 arbitraria January 17, 2011 at 8:27 PM

B-rye: I hope you can find comfort today and then once again tomorrow. Day to day. Please go easy on yourself. And that’s good that you said what you did on here. Suicide may seem brave on one level, but I am sure you know somewhere in your heart something or someone you want to live for. You’re still here; there’s a good reason for that! You are not alone.

53 Atticus Thraxx January 17, 2011 at 8:34 PM

She was a cop? Somehow that makes it worse. My sincere, sincere condolences for her family and fellow officers.
Rest in Peace officer and may God have mercy on your soul.

54 JEROME January 17, 2011 at 8:45 PM

“It has to do with the awful weather, and the fact that we are coming out of the holiday season with lots of maxed out credit cards and not enough money.”

BS — you do not have to max out your cards & you can go to a warm place like Hawaii— do not make excuses..you look silly. Suck it up & deal with life like an adult.

55 Huh January 17, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Well Sheesh, If you were never deceived by the “holidays” and the way merchants pimp you out – You would have nothing to worry about.

I don’t get caught up with the way this world tries to mind control people all day long in the media telling you what to believe, what to buy and how to think or not to think.

Condolences to this womans loved ones that She left behind.

56 shannan January 17, 2011 at 9:42 PM

I have to agree with Antler on the exercise. Exercise is number one in getting rid of depression!!!! I do know that this weather has made me a little depressed, but I get outside and run, bike or go to the park with my son. I do feel for these “depressed souls”…not enough clinics for these folks…even then people have too much pride to chat with a therapist.

57 The Anonymous Student January 17, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Amen to that, a good workout is a surefire cure for a sour mood.

58 LMT January 17, 2011 at 10:38 PM

For those here commenting negatively and have never experienced clinical depression, try to have some empathy and compassion for this woman even if you didn’t know her or why she committed suicide.

When there was a restructuring at the company I had worked at for 14 years, I happily chose to accept a generous severance package and eagerly decided to turn a new chapter in my life. I took time off and enjoyed fun travel and seeing friends and family for about two months.

But one morning, I woke up and could hardly get out of bed. I spent weeks feeling down, listless, anti-social, and unable to concentrate on anything. I couldn’t sleep through the night. And I couldn’t lift myself out of this fog of depression with anything – not exercise, not better eating, not seeing friends, not spending time with my husband. Nothing. But I couldn’t understand it because I was always a happy person and I’d experienced nothing like this before. I started to fantasize about escaping through death.

When I ran two stop lights from lack of sleep, I went to see my physician who referred me to psychiatry. It was there that I learned that I was indeed clinically depressed and that you do not have to have a million tragedies in your life occur for the chemistry in your brain to change. It can take just one significant change – even a positive but significant change – to affect your mental health.

With a short course of anti-depressant medication (which I adamantly fought against taking but ultimately figured it was better than suicide) and counseling, I was able to come out of that fog and return to “normal.”

I’m still looking for employment, but now I feel like my happy self again. There wasn’t actually much that came out of the counseling sessions because there wasn’t anything I felt worried or scared or upset about. It really appeared to be an unusual dip in serotonin, which apparently happens to people. Somehow that anti-depressant reset the chemistry in my mind and body and I am eternally grateful for that. As is my husband. I never thought I’d need help – I always loved my life.

What I’m saying is that bad things happen to good people and you may never know what could plummet you into a depression so deep that you don’t know how to find your way out of it without help.

I feel very much for this woman. It could have been me. And unfortunately it did not need to be her either.

59 anonymous January 17, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Jerome #54,
Apparently life’s been easy for you. There are people who max out their credit cards when they lose their jobs. There are people who cannot afford to go to a warm place like Hawaii. I worked as a fundraiser for a mental health organization. I’ve also been a single parent with financial and health problems. ANYONE can become depressed and/or have mental health problems – even you. No one is immune.

You sound like an insensitive, immature person. Maybe at some point in your life you will hae a better understanding of depression and mental health issues.

60 EricA January 18, 2011 at 12:00 AM

2 other suicides today both by a train… So sad.

61 Sean Donton January 18, 2011 at 2:11 AM

I almost went there. I’m not joking this is a deadly time of year, for people like me who are uneducated, and for people who have big careers and expensive lives, trying to raise a family, be the “great Dad” or the “super Mom” and knowing that deep inside me and you there may be nothing at all that I can give to my fledgling family except useless promises of doing this or that to make a better life for us.
I love my family. I think that the love I feel and the closeness I feel get me by every day. At the same time we all need to be bulletproof to make ends meet and still smile like we mean it, or else we run the risk of freaking out the people close to us that could never really step into our tortured minds.
I think that is why these things happen. You come to a place where you feel “matter of fact” about taking your own life, as devoid of emotion as picking up some groceries or getting dressed. That’s when you become your own worse enemy by thinking this is the neatest and quickest fix.

Yes I have been to that place many times.

In a weird twist I used to go to that Nazi camp of a school El Monte right back there and was teased on a daily basis for gee I don’t know 6 years!
The teachers at the time (80’s) did condone this kind of ritual sadism.

I used to go to that park when my parents were fighting about money or sex or drinking or what the hell ever and sit and…..well cry because it was the place to go to do that for me.

I wish I would have known. I would have thrown my big arms around her and told her she was loved.

Life is bittersweet, fleeting like a warm summer day, and precious all at once.

62 Sean Donton January 18, 2011 at 2:20 AM

I meant worst enemy, and I know about the use of the word there.

So grammer police take a snooze.

63 anonteacher January 18, 2011 at 7:57 AM

Post #21

It is tough in these times to keep empathy alive when EVERYONE is suffering, but try.
I have always thought suicide is the product of losing hope. Hope keeps us alive as much as food, air, and water.
Empathy helps those around you and I feel and have read that empathy in the US is on the decline. I’m a teacher and have to deal with 160 different personalities, needs, and je ne se qua. But I can’t imagine what a cop has to put up with. Dealing with people at their absolute worst can drain a person. And before people make comments like, you chose that job or stop complaining; just remember your empathy. People need your understanding regardless of the choices they make.
We all have read those Claycord posts that are just lacking empathy, and if this is a microcosm of the emerging US mentality, we are all on trouble. It seems those who follow the tenets of “who ever” said love your neighbor forget the Golden Rule.
Everyone around you needs your understanding and empathy in these tough times.

64 Amused January 18, 2011 at 8:16 AM

@G-Sphere #31,

I couldn’t agree with you more regarding our police officers, the stress of their job and that their contributions aren’t fully recognized. It’s too bad, as I see the toll on several friends of mine. It’s a tough job and they receive much more bashing than “jobs well done”, as they rightly deserve.

65 Greg January 18, 2011 at 8:21 AM

I appreciate your honesty and openness. And your courage to confront the reality of our culture. And I wouldn’t call you uneducated. I’d say you are very smart. Good luck to you.

66 Friday Afternoon January 18, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Is there little that can be done to help those with damaged or wavering faith in themselves or what they do?. Before they make such a sacrifice. Most likely not.

67 GeekGirl January 18, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Mayor, any word on identification or agency?

Thanks to all who have been vulnerable and frank in sharing their experiences. I’ve never suffered from clinical depression, but some of my relatives and friends have been there. Your literate expressions help me to understand them better. Thanks again.

68 mom January 18, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Any idea who this woman is yet?

69 Mr. Mayor January 18, 2011 at 9:29 AM

GeekGirl, She was an off-duty San Francisco Sheriff’s Deputy.


70 googlnbloggn January 18, 2011 at 9:59 AM

LMT: Thank you for sharing your experiences. It takes a lot of courage…You mentioned not working yet? I understand McCouloughs (by Kmart) is hiring part/full time….good luck to you

Sean: I agree with Greg…thank you for being a real man!

71 Sean Donton January 18, 2011 at 10:02 AM

I appreciate that Greg.

Do you know, I think dumb luck and laughing chance is all I have ever had some days.

72 James January 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM

The statement “SUICIDE IS A PERMANENT SOLUTION TO A SHORT-TERM PROBLEM.” has some truth to it, but “some” people are afflicted with long-term uncorrectable (with today’s medical and mental health solutions) problems where a symptom may be intolerable physical or mental pain that can not be mediated. Sadly today’s options for a safe self termination are limited, crude and stigmatized.

73 anon January 18, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Fits the description of the woman that was being harrassed by the low plane flying guy Huey.

74 Mr. Mayor January 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM

It’s not Huey’s ex.

75 Margie January 18, 2011 at 12:16 PM

My sister took her life last year after a lifelong struggle with depression. She loved her friends and family with all of her heart, yet that is, sadly, often not enough for those who live with daily despair, racing thoughts, self hatred, or the burden of living with the effects of childhood trauma. She just couldn’t go on living in constant despair with no end in sight. I believe she could have gotten better – at least to the point of being able to find fulfillment in her life. But, she did not want help and that is part of the tragedy of mental illness. Its like asking a drug addict (who by the way are almost always suffering from depression and self medicating) to go to rehab. Many people with mental illness are ashamed and don’t want intervention. But, with the support of anti-depressants and counseling, many people can pull out of the darkness. Much love to the family of this poor women. They will have a long road ahead of them to bounce back, but they can do it. Give it time and know it will get better. And for Sean….hang in there. Thanks for sharing your story. You sound like a good person. Take good care of yourself.

76 googlnbloggin January 18, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Margie: Thank you for sharing your own personal tragedy….sorry about your sister….losing a sibling/sister is extremely difficult….

77 T_T January 18, 2011 at 7:54 PM

R.I.P. I am very sad to learn about this loss and am letting everyone know times will get better, so keep your head up

78 Mimi January 18, 2011 at 10:20 PM

My condolences to the family left behind. Being someone who has experienced those “thoughts” and emerged on the other side I can only say that I’m sorry she didn’t make it through. It’s not easy, but there is help if you’re willing to look for it.

79 Barb Richter January 19, 2011 at 7:09 PM

She was a friend of mine. thanks to all of you who are friends of LE. We get grief for the job we do but wouldn’t have it any other way. Life is tough, I wouldn’t choose this path but until we walk in another’s shoes….R.I.P. Marla….

80 ND January 23, 2011 at 11:23 PM

I grew up with this person and she was a great person. I don’t understand or agree with suicides, but that’s my experience so far in life telling me this. With my job, I see this all the time and can only wonder “Why?” That said, this person had some things going on and, no, it was not maxed out credit cards from Christmas….please!!!

Marla, I am sorry to hear of your passing. My condolences to your family.

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