Suicide linked to missing woman
The man who shot himself to death last week in a casino parking lot was the boyfriend of a missing Modesto woman.
Shanti Prakash, 42, was last seen more than two weeks ago by her boyfriend, James Young, who told investigators he dropped her off at Harveys Resort Casino to visit some friends. The friends reported they never heard from Prakash.
Young’s body was discovered Aug. 16 in a rear lot at Harveys. He reported Prakash missing Aug. 6, then drove home to Modesto. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and Modesto police each interviewed him.
“We can’t say at this point that he had anything to do with her disappearance,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Tim Minister. “There’s no conclusive evidence. No note or anything to say he had something to do with her disappearance.”
Investigators believe Young, a 61-year-old vocational nurse from Modesto, shot himself sometime during the night of Aug. 15. Two days earlier he rented a car in Sacramento. Minister said he does not believe Young came to Stateline to gamble.
Some patrons of the casino saw Young sitting in the rented car the morning of Aug. 16. When they came back around 3 p.m. his body was still in the same position, prompting them to contact authorities.
Investigators found a motel key card on Young, but have not been able to link it to a motel yet. Minister said his investigators will continue to work with Modesto police to find Prakash or possibly link the two cases.
Prakash was a nurse’s assistant at the Doctor’s Medical Center in Modesto. She is East Indian, 5 feet 4 inches tall, 130 pounds with light brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black short-sleeve top and black jeans.
Anyone with information about Young is asked to call Investigator Ted Duzan at (775) 586-7250 or Secret Witness at (775) 586-7295.
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