The woman whose body was found near Paula Abdul's home was a one-time "American Idol" contestant who, despite being ridiculed during her audition, maintained her infatuation with judge Paula Abdul.
Paula Goodspeed, 30, was found dead, an apparent suicide, Tuesday evening in her car, which was parked a few doors down from Abdul's Los Angeles home. Reuters reported that prescription pills, along with CDs and pictures of Abdul, were found in the car.
"It appears to be a suicide by overdose," Detective Robert Bub of the Los Angeles Police Department told Reuters.
According to Ross Bonfiglio, the public information officer for the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, a close relative of Goodspeed called the sheriff's office at 3 p.m. Tuesday to report the young woman missing.
"Goodspeed had not been seen since 11 p.m. Monday, and her family member thought that she might try to overdose. The family member relayed her psychiatric history including her Paula Abdul fixation," Bonfiglio said.
Police were apparently familiar with Goodspeed, who may have been stalking Abdul. A law enforcement source told the Los Angeles Times that she was known to the LAPD's threat management unit, which investigates stalking cases.
According to The Associated Press, the license plate on her car read "ABL LV" and a photo of Abdul was hanging from the rear-view mirror.
On her MySpace.com page, Goodspeed posted a seductive photo of Abdul, with her mouth open and tongue exposed, below the words, "My secret crush, shhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!"
Abdul was at the "Idol" studio when Goodspeed's body was found and had to be told by the Fox network, her rep told People magazine.
In a statement Wednesday to ABCNews.com, the singer and former Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader said: "I am deeply shocked and saddened at what transpired yesterday. My heart and prayers go out to her family."
Goodspeed's Austin, Texas, audition in 2005 was featured prominently on "Idol," after she made it to Round 3 to sing before the judges. In an interview with host Ryan Seacrest, she admitted to being a diehard Abdul fan.
"I really like Paula Abdul a lot," she told Seacrest. "She's very cool. I'm a really big fan. I make life-size drawings of Paula. I've been drawing ever since I was a little kid and my first drawing was of Paula Abdul."
Wearing a long pink skirt, cropped top, pink high-heeled boots, a pink scarf in her hair and pink and green rubber bands on her braces, Goodspeed, who said she was also known for being a "fashion genius," was compared to Abdul by another judge, Simon Cowell.
"There's a similarity here," he said, "more than just the name."
"I see it definitely," Abdul said.
"Really? I figure that's a compliment, because you're beautiful," Goodspeed said to Abdul.
But the judges flatly rejected Goodspeed after her off-key rendition of "Proud Mary."
Abdul said she was "speechless," adding, "that's not a great thing."
Randy Jackson, the third judge, said, "That was terrible. What was that?"
Cowell attacked Goodspeed's braces. "I don't think any artist on earth can sing with that much metal in your mouth anyway. You have so much metal in your mouth. That's like a bridge."
"It's not over," Goodspeed vowed after the failed audition. "I'm not going to stop singing."
Goodspeed, who identified herself as a single lesbian on her MySpace.com page, blogged about the experience five months later.
"It's very hard reading such awful things being written about yourself," she wrote. "Not like alot [sic] of people would understand what it's like having so many haters just because I made the mistake of trying out for a singing competition before I was even ready vocally, emotionally and physically."
"I have to believe there is something good about me," Goodspeed wrote.
But there are many indications that all was not good in recent years with Goodspeed.
She lived alone in an apartment in Thousand Oaks, Calif., but lately a family member had been staying with her.
In Ventura County she had no criminal history or prior arrest, Bonfiglio said. But in June, the sheriff's office had been asked by LAPD to check her apartment after the police became concerned that she might be suicidal, according to Bonfiglio.
Goodspeed was later located by LAPD who took her for a mental health evaluation.
TMZ reported that Goodspeed overdosed about a year ago in the same area where she was found Tuesday evening. After police were called to Abdul's home, they found her unconscious in her car.
Abdul's rep Jeff Ballard told "Entertainment Tonight" that Abdul and her staff had known the troubled woman for several years.
Posting a comment on Goodspeed's MySpace.com page yesterday, "Julie" wrote: "Rest in peace, the world knows your name."