The death of Josephine Schlotman Mitchell Evans, one of the richest women in Prince William County, was ruled a suicide Thursday by the county commonwealth's attorney, even though she died of multiple shot gun blasts.
Mrs. Evans, the estranged wife of Thomas Mellon Evans, a nationally known, New York-based business executive, was found at her Gainesville estate, Buckland Farm, on May 5 by a maid who had come to work at about 7 a.m. despite being told by Mrs. Evans to come in late.
Prosecutor Paul Ebert said that a medical examiner's report confirmed that the wounds were self-inflicted from a 12-guage shotgun.
The first two wounds were superficial, the third damaged Mrs. Evans' liver and speen and the fourth and fifth blast struck her neck, blowing away part of the spine, he said.
Ebert said it was obvious from many personal notes that Mrs. Evans had carefully planned to commit suicide. One note warned that a 12-guage shotgun had been misloaded with a 20-guage shell, another asked that her personal secretary of many years be given a promised bonus and another requested that her daughters from a previous marriage be taken care of financially, he said.
Other notes indicated that she was despondent as a result of her separation less than a year ago from Evans, whom she had married in 1953, Ebert said.