Bethel woman’s death was suicide, officials say

Posted June 28, 2009, at 10:19 a.m.

BETHEL, Maine — Officials say a Bethel woman who was found dead after a three-day search committed suicide.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said Saturday that an autopsy indicated Kim Vanderlaan died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Vanderlaan, a 40-year-old mother of two, was found dead Friday on Walkers Mountain behind her home on Route 26.

Vanderlaan’s boyfriend called police Tuesday evening after discovering that she was gone but that her purse, keys and cell phone were left behind.

Wardens searched an area around the home Wednesday and Thursday before organizing a larger search on Friday.

Officials said Vanderlaan moved to the area about a year ago from Rhode Island, where her two children live.