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Coppell Mayor Jayne Peters and her daughter Corrine, right, were found dead in their home.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 7/14/2010 11:32:55 AM ET 2010-07-14T15:32:55

The mayor of an upscale suburb of Dallas and her teenage daughter were found shot to death at their home, city officials said Wednesday.

The bodies of 55-year-old Mayor Jayne Peters and her 19-year-old daughter, Corrine Peters, were found Tuesday night, after Coppell city council members expressed concern that the usually prompt mayor did not show up for a council meeting.

Community Information Officer Sharon Logan said in a statement that police discovered the bodies and that officers had not found any signs of forced entry.

The Dallas Morning News reported Logan said police were investigating whether the deaths were a murder-suicide, but she added it was too soon to say who may have committed the killings.

"At this point all we can really say is the investigation is just not complete," Logan told the newspaper. "There are a lot of things we need to look at."

Some city employees were visibly upset and others were in a somber mood when they showed up for work, Logan added. "It's grim," she told the Morning News.

The paper said that Peters, a contract software developer, succeeded Doug Stover as mayor last year after no one challenged her bid for the seat and that she had served on the city council since 1998. Her husband, Donald Peters, died in January 2008 from cancer at age 58, it said.

'Normal, cheerful self'
The Morning News reported that Peters appeared to be her normal, cheerful self when Mayor Pro Tem Bob Mahalik saw her ahead of the city's Independence Day parade this month. "She was looking forward to handing candy out to people on the route," Mahalik said.

Mahilk told the paper Wednesday morning that council members were reeling from news of the deaths. "It's just beyond almost comprehension to tell you the truth," he said.

He said there was a feeling that something was wrong when Peters failed to attend the council meeting and had not called to notify them, the paper said.

"You just kind of had a feeling like, wait a minute Jayne is just too professional and too conscientious for something like that," he said.

Mahalik said council members were stunned when they heard what had happened, the Morning News reported. "Everybody was looking back saying, 'Jeez did we miss something,'" he said.

Corinne Peters was a member of the Class of 2010 at Coppell High School and celebrated her 19th birthday last month, the paper said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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