Parima Parineh, the 56-year-old Woodside woman found lying dead beside a semi-automatic pistol in her Fox Hill Road home on April 13, was a native of Teheran, Iran, and an accomplished visual artist, according to an online biography.
The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is calling Ms. Parineh's death a murder, based on evidence gathered at the scene and an autopsy. Investigators are interviewing anyone with a possible connection, sheriff's spokesman Lt. Ray Lunny told The Almanac.
Detectives have spoken with and want to re-interview Ms. Parineh's husband Peter and the couple's two adult children who also lived there, but the family members "are not making themselves available," Lt. Lunny said.
Though Mr. Parineh called his wife's death a suicide, the Sheriff's Office is calling it a murder, in part because the injury was inconsistent with a self-inflicted wound, Lt. Lunny said.
Deputies are not releasing information on the specific nature of the injury because "there's only one person who would know" such a detail, Lt. Lunny said.
Investigators have not found signs of forced entry and are looking into possible motives for the crime, but are not yet ready to say anything on that subject, he said.
Asked to comment on why he used the term murder to describe Ms. Parineh's death rather than the more open-ended homicide, which can include accidental death, Lt. Lunny replied by citing California's definition of murder: "The unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought."
"Obviously, this was not an accident," he added. "It's obvious that this is murder."
The gun lying next to her was a semi-automatic pistol, Lt. Lunny said. A ballistics test is under way to determine whether the four shell casings found in the bedroom match the characteristics of having been fired from that gun.
The couple were apparently having money troubles. Their house was in foreclosure, Lt. Lunny said.
Ms. Parineh, who received a bachelor of arts degree from Teheran University, had a studio at home and was a member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast, the Western Society of Artists, and an associate member of the Pastel Society of America, according to her online bio.
Go to www.parimaneh.com to see examples of her work.
Deputies are asking that anyone with information call Detective Hector Acosta or Detective Saul Lopez at the Sheriff's Office at 363-4911, or call the anonymous witness line at 800-547-2700.