HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (February 18, 2013)--The death of her boyfriend last month in what evidently was a suicide, may have been the most difficult moment in a life full of troubles for country singer Mindy McCready, 37.
McCready died Sunday of what evidently was a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the same porch of the home she and her late boyfriend, David Wilson, shared.
Cleburne County Sheriff Marty Moss said Monday that it appears McCready killed her late boyfriend's dog before she turned the gun on herself.
The dog and McCready were found dead next to one another the home in Heber Springs, Ark., a vacation community about 65 miles north of Little Rock.
Moss said the dog's body was next to McCready's.
McCready struggled for years with alcohol and drugs.
She had checked into court-ordered rehab and had given her two young sons up to foster care.
She had attempted suicide at least three other times since 2005.
McCready's ex-boyfriend said the singer threatened to kill herself earlier this month after she lost custody of her sons, but was released from rehab days before evidently following through on her threat.
Billy McKnight, a former longtime boyfriend who shares a son with the country singer, says the mother of two stayed in court-ordered substance-abuse rehabilitation for about 18 hours before checking out.
McKnight said Monday by phone from Tampa, Fla., that it was a "big mistake" to allow McCready to leave rehab, in light of her fiancée’s death and the loss of her children.
McKnight was working with authorities to get his son Zander out of foster care.
Former baseball great Roger Clemens, now a special instructor with the Houston Astros, called the death “sad news” in a written statement he handed to reporters Monday at the team's spring training camp in Kissimmee, Fla.
The statement said he had heard that McCready “was trying to get peace and direction in her life."
He said McCready and her manager/agent were "extremely nice" the "few times" he saw her.
McCready made headlines in April 2008 when she claimed she had a longtime relationship with Clemens.
Published reports at the time said she met the pitcher at a Florida karaoke bar when she was 15 and he was 28 and married.
Clemens has denied the relationship.