Multiple units from the LAPD's Pacific Division responded to a call just after midnight that could have been a scene from The Chainsaw Massacre.
Though the incident was initially reported as a “possible murder” (according to Venice 311, who tracks the police scanner 24/7), investigators later found that the victim had apparently written a suicide note.
Valerie Nash, 47, was discovered dead in her bedroom by her sister around 12:40 a.m.
Horrifyingly, the woman's neck had been slashed with a chainsaw.
“Her sister came home and found her in her room deceased on the bed with a chainsaw wound to the neck,” Sergaent Richard Parks tells City News Service.
Nash lived in the Palms area of L.A.'s Westside, right near Culver City (and, incidentally, a few blocks from the LA Weekly office.) Venice 311 Tweeted this photo of her townhouse this morning, once the “possible murder” had been reclassified as a suicide:
The L.A. County Coroner's Office tells the Weekly that an autopsy is pending.
Meanwhile, Sergaent Parks informs CBS LA that initial rumors of a chainsaw being tied to the victim's neck are completely false. And some guy on Twitter says he's “writing blues song about Valerie Nash, who died by CHAINSAW SEPPUKU in LA.”
Update: The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles Fire Department responders noticed Nash's body had decomposed some, indicating “she may have been dead for as long as a day.”
The two sisters reportedly shared the townhouse on Keystone. Police tell the Times that the door to Nash's room “was jammed a little, and the sister was able to see her on the bed with a chainsaw next to her.”