OAKLAND -- Jill Marie Abbott had tired of stripping in San Francisco nightclubs.
She turned 40 in March, and after two decades on stage, she would rather tend a garden or fish the Bay, said ex-boyfriend Devin Walker, of Rodeo.
Abbott fell into alcohol abuse and depression after the 2004 onstage shooting death of close friend "Dimebag Darrell" Abbott, a guitarist with heavy metal band Pantera. It got worse this year when she split with Walker after more than six years and moved to an apartment in Richmond.
On Friday, Abbott's naked body was discovered in the Oakland hills. How it got there, and how she died, remained a mystery Tuesday. Police said that toxicology results will help them determine whether to rule her death a homicide.
A friend last spoke with her early Thursday, after Abbott had called friends for help late Wednesday from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Richmond, where she went after suffering a panic attack. Investigators are trying to account for Abbott's whereabouts between then and Friday morning, when she was found at the entrance to a bike trail in the 15000 block of Skyline Boulevard, near Keller Avenue.
"She wouldn't have known how to get up there on her own. She was real bad with directions. No way she'd have been up there on her own," Walker said. "She was reaching out for help the night before she disappeared. She was afraid."
He said Abbott's car remained outside her apartment.
They had known each other for 23 years, meeting through mutual friends -- members of the heavy metal band Slayer. In the early 1990s, Abbott dated former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo, Walker said. Though not related, Abbott and Dimebag Darrell shared a last name, and the guitarist would tell people that she was his sister.
"They have their own family. She was part of that family -- the band and all their wives and girlfriends and their crew," Walker said. "She was a very happy person back then. When Darrell got killed, it affected her deeply."
Abbott grew up in Sunnyvale and later worked strip clubs in Los Angeles before moving back to the Bay Area in 2004. She had lived with Walker most of that time.
Abbott had a drinking problem and took anti-depressants, but she never struggled with hard drugs, he said. She wouldn't drink daily; when she drank, he said, she drank hard. She had some run-ins with police over the years, all related to alcohol, Walker said, including one DUI while she sat in her parked car with the heat and music blaring. She managed somehow to keep her thick sense of humor.
"The officer asked how many beers she'd drank. She said, 'All of them.' "
In her last post on her MySpace page, on Dec. 19, she reported that she "had a good sunday, got stuff done, and reconnected with my friends. (Ive been in a hole 4 too long)".
Police said they don't think Abbott's death is connected to the fatal stabbing of a Fresno woman found Dec. 21 on the rocks off a jetty in the Martin Luther King Regional Shoreline Park, several miles from the hill site. She has been identified as Jasmine Jordan, 21.
Walker said that Abbott probably worked as an exotic dancer just a handful of times in the past year and preferred waiting nightclub tables. As a Catholic, she tried to hide the stripper work from family and friends.
When she was younger, friends called her Kelly Bundy for her resemblance to actress Christina Applegate of "Married "... with Children." She received multiple offers to pose nude for Playboy, Walker said.
"She turned them down every time. She would not be photographed nude," he said. "She wasn't the typical exotic dancer. She went to church regularly and only had a handful of boyfriends in her entire life. She wasn't a shady person. She was a really sweet girl."
Anyone with information about either death is asked to call police at 510-238-3821, or Crime Stoppers of Oakland at 510-777-8572 or 510-777-3211.
Contact John Simerman at 925-943-8072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.