Body Found in Park an Apparent Suicide

Times Staff Writer

A Lake Forest woman found dead in O’Neill Regional Park in April apparently committed suicide, officials said Tuesday.

Botanist Susan Hobbs, 51, died from an overdose of an insomnia drug, according to toxicology tests conducted by the Orange County coroner’s office.

Hobbs’ husband reported his wife missing April 5 after she did not return from a walk. Four days later, Hobbs was found dead, lying face-down in heavy brush on Vista Trail in the park near Rancho Santa Margarita. Her car had been found in the area the day before.

Authorities said at the time that Susan Hobbs had been depressed, possibly because she had not received a job offer she was hoping for, and was taking medication for the condition.


The initial autopsy was inconclusive, and authorities were awaiting results from toxicological and microscopic testing of skin tissue. The results, received last week, indicated that Hobbs died of “doxylamine intoxication,” said deputy coroner Cullen Ellingburgh.

According to a National Library of Medicine online database, the drug found in Hobbs’ system is “frequently involved in accidental and intentional overdoses.”