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Departed

Mindy McCready shot dog before apparent suicide, authorities say

Authorities say they found country singer Mindy McCready's body on the same porch of her northern Arkansas home where her boyfriend was found dead of an apparent suicide last month.

Cleburne County Sheriff Marty Moss said Monday that it appears McCready killed her late boyfriend David Wilson's dog before she turned the gun on herself Sunday. The dog and McCready were found dead next to one another the home in Heber Springs, a vacation community about 65 miles north of Little Rock. Moss says the dog's body was next to McCready's.

Authorities are investigating Wilson's shooting death as a suicide, but Moss says an official determination hasn't been made.

PHOTOS: Mindy McCready through the years

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

The singer's ex-boyfriend agreed that it was likely she committed suicide, saying she threatened to kill herself earlier this month after she lost custody of her sons, but was somehow released from rehab days before apparently following through on her threat.

Billy McKnight, a former longtime boyfriend who shares a son with the country singer, says the mother of two stayed in court-ordered substance-abuse rehabilitation for about 18 hours before checking out.

McKnight said Monday by phone from Tampa, Fla., that it was a "big mistake" to allow McCready to leave rehab, in light of her fiance's recent death and the loss of her children.

McKnight is working with authorities to get his son Zander out of foster care.

Melinda Gayle McCready rose to fame in the 90s when she was still in her teens. With tapes of her karaoke vocals, she earned a recording contract with BNA Records.

In 1996, her "Guys Do It All the Time" hit No. 1 and its dig at male chauvinism endeared her to females. Her other hits included "Ten Thousand Angels," also in 1996, and her album by that title sold 2 million copies.

After getting her recording contract, she did concert appearances with top country stars including George Strait, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson.

But her life then took a turn for the worse as she struggled to live in the spotlight. The talented star spent the next 15 years chasing another hit as personal problems began plaguing her in 2004. 

Her problems would include a custody battle with her mother over one of her sons, an overdose and discord in her love life.

Mindy's rep called the singer an "extraordinary and gifted talent" in a statement sent to FOX 411 and said McCready's friends were planning a memorial for her in Nashville in the coming days. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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