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Texas Mayor Left Note Before Murder-Suicide; Was Facing Financial Difficulties

The Coppell city manager alerted police and sent them to Jayne Peters' home after the usually prompt mayor failed to appear at a regularly scheduled city council meeting, said CBS affiliate KTVT. When police arrived they found the bodies the 55-year-old and her daughter Corrine Peters, 19. Both women had suffered gunshot wounds to the head. Personal Photo

Texas Mayor Left Grim Suicide Note, May Have Been Having Financial Difficulties
Jayne Peters and Corinne Peters (Personal Photo)

COPPELL, Texas (CBS/KTVT/AP) When police arrived at Coppell, Texas mayor Jayne Peters' home, they quickly realized something was very wrong. Mayor Jayne Peters had apparently taped an envelope to the door containing an ominous note and a key.

PICTURES: Texas Mayor and Daughter Murder-Suicide

Something unpleasant awaited them, warned the typed note.

On Tuesday night Coppell police found a horrific scene inside the house. Peters and her 19-year-old daughter were both dead of gunshot wounds to the head, deaths the Dallas County medical examiner has ruled a murder-suicide. Investigators say Jayne Peters murdered her daughter Corinne before turning the gun on herself.

Three other notes were found at the house. But they did not offer an explanation for the deaths, only instructions for managing family affairs, such as care for the dogs, Coppell Deputy Police Chief Steve Thomas said Wednesday.

Corrine Peters (Personal Photo)
Now there are reports that Jayne Peters may have been having financial difficulties.

CBS affiliate KTVT reports that sources say that when Mayor Jayne Peters' husband died of cancer in 2008, he did not have life insurance.

PICTURES: Texas Mayor and Daughter Murder-Suicide

Mayor Peters faced foreclosure on her Coppell home at least twice this year. Ultimately, according to Foreclosure Listing Service, the home was not foreclosed on.

Also, despite earlier reports that 19-year-old Corinne Peters was preparing to attend the University of Texas at Austin, university officials say Corinne never enrolled or even applied to the school.

She told other friends that she applied elsewhere. "The latest that I heard is that she was going to TCU and that was back in February and March" said friend Alexandra Walter.

But in a Facebook posting July 6 Corinne Peters said she was going to miss another orientation at UT Austin, saying "Orientation. Oh wait nevermind, AGAIN." When a friend asked for an explanation, she posted "University of Texas and it's just been a bunch of different medical situations, LOL."

KTVT checked with the university; the school said Corinne never enrolled there.

Jayne Peters was a contract software developer who served as mayor of Coppell, a city of about 40,000 located 15 miles northwest of Dallas, for the past year. Her term was to expire in 2012. She had been a council member since 1998.

Reporting Contributed by CBS Affiliate KTVT

Complete Coverage of Texas Mayor's Murder-Suicide at Crimesider.

  • Edecio Martinez

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