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Body found at Modesto motel; suicide is suspected

Modesto police said a 35-year-old woman found dead in her room Monday afternoon by employees at the Motel 6 on Orangeburg Avenue most likely committed suicide.

The woman, whom police did not name, was found with a trash bag over her head by a motel maid and manager who forced their way inside the room about 1:30 p.m., said officer Ivan Valencia, a police spokesman.

Police also found poison, a syringe and a note in the room, Valencia said. They did not release the contents of the note.

Investigators first called the woman's death suspicious because motel employees reported a body wrapped in plastic when they called police.

A maid tried to enter to clean the room but could not open the door. The woman renting the room had taped the door shut from the inside, Valencia said.

The woman had a Washington state driver's license, but the registration on her silver Mercedes-Benz sedan had an address in Windsor, north of Santa Rosa, Valencia said.

Some motel residents peered out of their windows as Modesto homicide detectives cordoned off half the parking lot at 1920 W. Orangeburg Ave., near Briggs-more Avenue, to search Room 211 and the woman's car.

The Stanislaus County coroner's office will conduct an autopsy.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact the Modesto Police Department at 572-9500.

Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at mbalassone@modbee.com or 578-2337.

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