Troubled country singer Mindy McCready, whose once promising career was upstaged by personal turmoil, has died in an apparent suicide. She was 37 years old.
McCready's body was found about 3:30 p.m. Sunday on the front porch of her home in Heber Springs, Arkansas, with a single gunshot wound, the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office confirmed to Yahoo! Music. Deputies responded to 911 calls reporting gunfire. McCready apparently shot her dog before turning the gun on herself.
Her body was transported to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy and her death is being probed, the sheriff says.
McCready's apparent suicide comes just a little more than a month after the death of her boyfriend, songwriter David Wilson, 34. The death of Wilson, who fathered McCready's younger son, is still under investigation.
It was after Wilson's death that McCready, whose struggles with drugs and alcohol were chronicled on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab," was committed to a psychiatric hospital and her two children, 6-year-old Zander and 9-month-old Zayne, were removed from her care.
Born Malinda Gayle McCready, she rose to fame as a teen singer in the 1990s behind the hit songs "Guys Do It All the Time," "Ten Thousand Angels" and "A Girl's Gotta Do (What a Girl's Gotta Do)." She played up her all-American and pure-living image, sold more than 3 million records, and was briefly engaged to TV Superman Dean Cain.
But emotional problems, substance abuse and difficult relationships took their toll. By the time of her final release, 2010's "I'm Still Here," she was better known for "Celebrity Rehab" than her recordings.
A petition filed by McCready’s father revealed larger issues in the singer’s life, including alcohol and prescription drug abuse, as well as erratic behavior. According to a report obtained by E! News, Tim McCready attested that his daughter had taken to her bed since the death of her boyfriend last month. "Sleeps all day,” he reported. “Drinks all night and is taking Rx drugs.”
Furthermore, McCready's dad claimed his daughter was refusing to bathe, was not taking care of her two young sons, and was acting violently. "Screams about everything," he stated. "Trying to hit father. Is not making any sense of any conversations with anyone."
The elder McCready also noted that Mindy was "very verbally abusive" to her older son.
After Mindy McCready was court ordered into the hospital, Billy McKnight--who is Zander's father--went to family court last week seek a detailed investigation into Mindy’s ability to care for their son. Both of Mindy's children were subsequently taken into custody by state family services.
Mindy's father had been staying with her at her Arkansas home until Sunday morning. According to E! News sources, when he left, "she was in good spirits and seemed to be fine."