According to Cleburne County Sheriff Marty Moss, it appears 37-year-old country singer Mindy McCready shot her late boyfriend's dog before turning the gun on herself Sunday afternoon.
Sheriff Deputies in Cleburne County discovered her body on the front porch of her home near Heber Springs on Sunday afternoon.
According to Sheriff Moss, a concerned call from a neighbor alerted authorities to a possible safety concern, with the neighbor saying they believed they heard gunshots.
"I think a lot of people are shocked," said Alisha Decker, who works at Mack's Fish House in Heber Springs.
The fish house is a hub for the small town, and according to Decker many in the community are hurting for McCready's family.
"Mostly sad for the family, sad for the children. Such a sudden loss, it's hard to undertake that," Decker said.
"There's going to be speculation and 'what ifs.' It's just a very sad situation," Moss said. "Ms. McCready appears to have touched a lot of people in her life, likely through her music, that's obvious."
Sheriff Moss confirmed it appeared the gunshot wound was self-inflicted, and that it appeared McCready had shot her boyfriend's pet before turning the gun on herself. Still, her body will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for a full autopsy.
The singer has been living in Arkansas since 2011, when she fled Florida with her then 5-year-old son, without having custody.
Court battles over custody with McCready's mother, who had legal custody, and later the boy's father, Billy McKnight, ensued.
In January 2013, McCready's boyfriend, the father of her second child, died from a gunshot wound on the same porch where deputies discovered McCready's body.
The cause of his death has not been determined, with David Wilson's body sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for a full autopsy and analysis. According to Sheriff Moss, that autopsy has been concluded and Moss is waiting for full details to release an official cause of death for Wilson.
Following Wilson's death, McCready's family members said they saw her spiral downward, and roughly two weeks ago her father requested that the court intervene. A judge ordered McCready to enter mental health and substance abuse treatment.
She lost custody of her two sons, who have remained in foster care up to and, McKnight says throughout, this ordeal as well.
"No one was at the home at the time, aside from Ms. McCready," Sheriff Moss said. "Her sons are safe and are being well-taken care of."
"To know those kids are going to be without their mother is the saddest part," Decker said. "This community is concerned for those children. We're just a close-knit community like that."
For many in Heber Springs, they never met McCready, but they're sending prayers to her son and the rest of the singer's family.
"We're saddened for them. It's a very tragic end to a long story," Decker said.