PINELLAS PARK — The death of a woman found inside a burning Pinellas Park home this morning was determined to be a suicide, not a homicide as detectives initially thought.
The body of the 61-year-old woman, whose name was not released pending notification of next of kin, was found when firefighters responded to a blaze at a single-story home at 7600 71st Ave. N. Police were called to the scene shortly before 7 a.m. because the body had visible injuries, police said.
While the death was first thought to be a homicide, investigators found a gun underneath the body and determined the woman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Investigators also found two suicide notes — one in her van, the other at a neighbor's home. The woman left the note along with her cat in a carrier on the neighbor's doorstep, police said.
Detectives suspect the woman, who was renting the house, set fire to the building before taking her own life.