Mindy Mccready Feared Losing Custody Of Kids

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(CNN) — “A perfect storm” hit Mindy McCready in the days before the country singer killed herself in the same spot where her boyfriend had died five weeks earlier, a close friend said.

McCready, who burst onto the music scene in 1996 with the chart-topping country hit “Guys Do It All the Time,” suffered from addiction that stalled her career. Her biggest notoriety in recent years came from her participation in the 2009 season of the reality TV show “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.”

Private investigator Danno Hanks, who knew McCready for several years and frequently advised her, said she called him Saturday, a day before she died from what investigators have said was a self-inflicted gunshot.

“Saturday was a very bad day for her,” Hanks said.

McCready, 37, told him about an e-mail she received on Friday from the Arkansas Department of Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services that included a proposed court order that would send her two children to live with her mother in Florida.

“The proposed court order was the nail in her coffin, the thing that sent her over the edge,” Hanks said.

The Arkansas agency declined to comment on the case, citing confidentiality laws.

“When we take children into our care, reunification with the biological parents is always our goal,” spokeswoman Amy Webb told CNN. “Sometimes it’s not safe and we cannot.”

McCready’s world unraveled in the 35 days after David Wilson, the father of her younger son, was found fatally wounded on the porch of the Heber Springs, Arkansas, home where the couple lived, Hanks said.

“After the suicide, she essentially fell apart,” Hanks said.

McCready couldn’t go to the hospital to spend Wilson’s dying hours with him because investigators held her to test her hands for gunshot residue, he said. The test eliminated her as a suspect in the shooting, he said, but the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office withheld a conclusion that Wilson had committed suicide until the autopsy report was completed.

Tabloids reported that McCready was a suspect in his death.

“There was no murder investigation,” Hanks said. “All the police ever said was, ‘We have not finished our investigation.’ ”

Cleburne County Sheriff Marty Moss did not return CNN’s calls for comment Tuesday.

McCready told an NBC interviewer two weeks after Wilson’s death that the speculation was painful.

“I was hurting so bad, and then they just did whatever they could to make it hurt even more,” she said.

It wasn’t long before a children’s services worker knocked on her door in response to a request from the father of her oldest son, country singer Billy McKnight, he said.

“The father felt that she was a danger to her kids and a danger to herself and she had gone into this deep depression and needed to go and get some mental evaluation,” Hanks said.

The agent placed both children into foster care after McCready tested positive for alcohol, which McCready blamed on mouthwash, Hanks said.

McCready, who was also taken into custody for a mental exam, was given a urine and blood test, which showed no drugs or alcohol in her system, he said.

A doctor released her after several days, he said.

“What he was doing was sending home someone who is now made even more distraught by having her children taken away and sending her home to a house that just had a lots of guns because David was a gun nut,” he said.

Her hopes of getting her children back were dashed by that proposed court order from the state agency on Friday, he said. The order would send the boys to their maternal grandmother, with whom McCready had fought for custody of her older son for five years, he said.

“In Mindy’s mind, a proposed order might as well be written in stone because every proposed order that had been presented in the past down in Florida courts, the judge would just rubber-stamp it,” he said.

The combined toll of 35 days of bad news, starting with Wilson’s death, took a heavy toll on her, Hanks said

“You have this perfect storm of several things that happened to her in succession,” he said. “His suicide, her kids being taken away from her, the feeling that the media was out to get her, because they were putting out these reports that she was under suspicion in his murder.”

McCready’s last day was focused on getting the world to hear a song, he said. “I’ll See You Yesterday” was the last thing she recorded with Wilson, who was a music producer. “It’s such a beautiful song. It must be heard,” she told NBC.

She sang:

“I was your sunlight, but now I’m just a shade

“I was your blue sky, now I’m just the rain

“I was your favorite song, but now I’m overplayed

“If tomorrow’s gonna be the same, I’ll see you yesterday.”

McCready asked Hanks to help her get it played on the radio. She also asked him to upload it to YouTube along with photos of her and Wilson.

“She was anxious to get this video posted,” he said. “I didn’t realize it at the time, I didn’t realize what the urgency (was about).”

She told him she wanted it to be a suicide prevention public service announcement, he said.

“In retrospect, I realize what she was not revealing was that her true reason was that this was her suicide video,” he said. “She wanted it out there because she knew that the video would get more play after she committed her suicide. She wanted the world at the end to know how she had been treated and mistreated and all the stuff that she had gone through.”

Her last wish came true. The video has gone viral, getting hundreds of thousands of views since her death. Country radio stations are playing her song.

“If these people had reached out to her in life as they have in death, maybe it would be a different outcome,” Hanks said. “If she had known how many fans that she had out there and how many supporters she truly did have, she might have had the courage to go on. But I think she just felt she was alone, that nobody cared about what was happening to her.”

In the NBC interview aired on the “Today” show last month, McCready summed it up: “My life hasn’t ever really made sense to me, because I do know what kind of person I am and I do know that I try to be as good a person as I can possibly be every day.”

By Alan Duke

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News