Goodyear Man and Ex-Girlfriend Found Dead in Truck Ruled Murder-Suicide

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office announced yesterday that the deaths of a Goodyear man and his ex-girlfriend last week have been ruled a murder-suicide.

The bodies of 43-year-old Thomas Watson and his ex-girlfriend, 31-year-old Tara Shermerhorn, were found dead inside Watson's truck south of Horse Thief Basin just after 10 a.m. last Friday.

The bodies each had "close-range gunshot wounds to the head," and authorities have determined that Watson shot Shermerhorn before turning the gun on himself.

Watson was reported missing about 5 a.m. last Thursday after his sister found a note at his home suggesting he was despondent. The note also gave instructions on disposing of his property.

Police tried to locate Watson, who was last seen driving a dark-blue 1999 Ford F150 with South Dakota plates of 59K090. His phone was "pinged" and was reportedly located near Interstate 17 traveling north of Phoenix. The phone was later shut off.

Hours after Watson was reported missing, Shermerhorn also was reported missing by family members. She was last seen at her work last Wednesday night about 9 p.m. Police believe she drove directly home from work because her car was parked at her house. Her phone was also "pinged," but appeared stationary near the Crown King area in Yavapai County after she was reported missing.

Police say the investigation into the deaths is ongoing.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King