Body found near Jeep of missing Phoenix woman Holly Marie Bruce

RIO VERDE, AZ - Phoenix police say a body found near a Jeep north of the Valley has been identified as a woman who has been missing since January .

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said they responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in an open area about 4 miles south of Sunflower, in the Tonto National Forest, northeast of Fountain Hills Monday morning.

After arriving at the scene, officials determined the dark grey Jeep was registered to Holly Marie Bruce, a 25-year-old woman reported missing in January.

A badly-decomposed body was located about 100 feet from the Jeep. A gun was found a few feet from the body.

Wednesday afternoon police said an autopsy revealed the victim to be Bruce.

The Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Bruce died from a single self-inflicted gunshot injury.

Phoenix police said Bruce last spoke with her family on January 4th. At that time, she said she was driving out of town, but failed to return home.

She did not return to work and did not answer her cell phone.

Family members told police Bruce had been very depressed and feared she could be a danger to herself.

She battled depression since the suicide of her father 10 years ago, according to police.

Bruce was reportedly involved in a deadly car accident involving a pedestrian in Scottsdale. Family members said this was a tremendous blow to Bruce who felt responsible for the death.

During a search of Bruce's home, the family found a receipt for a handgun which was purchased using cash on January 4th, according to police.

Police said Bruce also had financial problems and was facing the end of a long term relationship.

In January, family told police they believed Bruce would travel to a scenic area in Northern Arizona, possibly the Fossil Creek area, where she loved to hike.

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