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Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA)

June 24, 2001

Author: Associated Press

[]A decomposing body found in a Venice-area field may be that of a missing filmmaker, police said.

Investigators suspect the woman is Wendy Bott, 32, of West Hollywood and that she committed suicide, Detective Mike DePasquale said.  A man walking his dog found the body Thursday morning in the vacant, overgrown field. The woman appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, DePasquale said. A gun, a box of ammunition and a black bag were found next to the body.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office had not confirmed the identity, spokesman Scott Carrier said. Dental records would be used to make the identification, and the official cause of death would be determined next week, he said.

Family members said they believed the body is hers.

“We’re shocked,” said Joe Hanauer, her stepfather.  “We’re trying to understand why she would kill herself. It is completely out of character.”

Bott had taken a prescription anti-depressant called Paxil for many years to treat insomnia, Hanauer said.

But she did not like taking it  “and sometimes she wouldn’t,” he said.  “This may have been a factor.”

Bott, a former freelance writer from New York, recently had completed her first feature,  “Robbie’s Brother,” and planned to submit it to the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Record Number:  0106250112