Ex-boyfriend: McCready left rehab too soon
FILE - In this undated file photo, country singer Mindy McCready performs in Nashville, Tenn. McCready, who hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career, died Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. She was 37. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Mindy McCready threatened suicide after losing custody of her sons earlier this month, yet she was allowed to leave a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program just days before she apparently killed herself at her Arkansas home, her ex-boyfriend said Monday.
Billy McKnight, who was in a long, stormy relationship with McCready and is the father of her oldest child, Zander, said the 37-year-old mother of two stayed in the substance abuse treatment center for about 18 hours before she was allowed to walk free.
McCready died Sunday at her home in Heber Springs, a vacation community about 65 miles north of Little Rock. She was found dead on the front porch, where her longtime boyfriend, musician David Wilson, died last month of a gunshot wound to the head. Authorities are investigating both deaths as suicides but haven't determined an official cause of death.
Yellow crime-scene tape blocks off the home of Mindy McCready in Heber Springs, Ark., on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, the day after the country singer was found dead there Sunday in an apparent suicide. She was 37. (AP Photo/Jeannie Nuss)
McKnight told The Associated Press during a phone interview from Tampa, Fla., that McCready and Wilson, the father of her youngest son, were recently engaged. He wondered how she was allowed to go free, given all the turmoil in her life.
"That was a big mistake on the part of whoever released her," McKnight said. "She was in a terrible state of mind. She doesn't perform any more. She wasn't working. She has two kids and her fiance was just killed. There's no way she should be out by herself in a lonely house with nothing but booze and pills. That was a really, really bad mistake, and the end result is tragic."
Arkansas courts were closed for the holiday Monday, so local case documents weren't immediately available.
Neighbors reported hearing two shots Sunday afternoon when they called the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office. Authorities found Wilson's dog dead next to McCready's body at the home, where yellow crime-scene tape looped through a grove of pine trees and around the one-story brick house Monday afternoon.