The former CEO, and one of the initial founders of a Northwest-based restaurant that's gone national was found dead in front of his Yakima home Tuesday. He apparently fatally shot himself. Red Robin began in Yakima, and has grown to 538 locations in 17 states.

Mike Snyder, who was one of the first two restaurant owners beginning in 1979, oversaw the chain from 1995 to 2005, and was credited with righting the ship when it came to solving issues plaguing the chain. He and his brother opened the first 2 Red Robins' and later after a merger, took the company public and national in 2002.

The chain has grown across the country, and become very successful. However, in 2005, Snyder was forced to resign as CEO after allegations surfaced over his chartering planes at company expense and mixing personal time with the business. Many say he was not likely aware of the legal guidelines pertaining to such expenditures, but they were found to be violations anyway.

After stepping down, he led a very quiet life, although he continued on the side to be an active business investor. According to the Yakima County Coroner, he left no suicide note. He apparently shot himself with a high powered rifle.

Snyder pictured below, courtesy of KIMA-TV CBS Yakima.

Red Robin former CEO commits suicide (KIMA-TV CBS Yakima)