McCready's ex: Anyone close could see it coming

HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) — Mindy McCready

threatened to kill herself after losing custody of her sons earlier this

month,

yet she was allowed to leave a court-ordered drug rehabilitation

program days before she apparently killed herself, her ex-boyfriend

said Monday.

Billy McKnight, who was in a long, rocky

relationship with McCready and who is the father of her oldest child,

Zander, said

the 37-year-old mother of two stayed in the in-patient substance

abuse treatment center for about 18 hours before being allowed

to walk free.

Authorities say McCready died in an apparent

suicide Sunday at her home in Heber Springs, a vacation community about

65 miles

north of Little Rock. Sheriff Marty Moss said McCready was found

dead on the front porch where her boyfriend, musician David

Wilson, died last month of a gunshot wound to the head.

Investigators are investigating his death as a suicide, but haven't

yet determined the his cause of death.

McKnight, speaking to The Associated Press phone from Tampa, Fla., said McCready and Wilson had actually gotten 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."

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.

"Based on what we have found at the scene at this time, we do believe that she took the life of the dog that we are being

told by family members belonged to Mr. Wilson before she took her own life," Sheriff Marty Moss said.

The sheriff confirmed McCready's two sons

remained in foster care where they were at the time of her death.

McKnight says

he's working with authorities to get custody of his son, Zander,

and was not privy to what's happening with infant boy Zayne,

who was born to McCready and Wilson last year.

McCready's sons were put in foster care and she was ordered into rehab earlier this month after McCready's father expressed

concern. He told a judge his daughter had stopped taking care of herself and her children after Wilson's death and she was

abusing alcohol and prescription drugs.

Moss said he expects McCready's official cause of death will be released soon, but that "all indicators" point to a suicide.

Her body has been sent to the state crime lab for autopsy.

McCready attempted suicide at least three times previously and her fragile state of mind was always a concern to family and

friends who cared for her.

"This didn't come as a surprise, although shocking," McKnight said. "She was bitter. She was bitter at the world and she was

bitter at herself, and she could just never shake it. She could never beat it.