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Woman's body discovered inside car near Castaic Lake [Updated]

February 23, 2010 | 12:18 pm

Body found in car near Castaic

A woman's body has been found near Castaic Lake inside the back of a vehicle marked with warnings that it contained hazardous materials, officials said.

A deputy noticed the vehicle -- seemingly abandoned -- parked off the side of the road about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore. Upon closer inspection, the deputy noticed a woman "slumped over the back seat and not moving," Whitmore said, but it is unclear whether the woman is still alive.

The windows of the vehicle were covered with messages indicating that the car was hazardous to open, Whitmore said. The deputy immediately called for assistance in the area of Lake Hughes and Dry Gulch roads.  A hazardous materials team and the sheriff’s arson explosives team are responding.

[Updated at 2:42 p.m.: Whitmore said the woman died as the result of a suicide. Investigators believe she mixed a cocktail of chemicals and then breathed in the deadly hydrogen sulfide gas trapped inside the car. She placed signs on the windows to warn responding authorities of the deadly gas.]  

-- Richard Winton

Photo: KTLA