On Sunday (February 16), troubled country crooner Mindy McCready, 37, was found dead on the porch of her Heber Springs, Ark. home of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the same spot where the body of her boyfriend David Wilson – the father of her youngest son Zayne, 10 months – was discovered last month, also with a gunshot wound to the head.
Just days before her apparent suicide, Mindy was served with court papers stating that her two sons Zayne and Zander, 6, be sent to live with her long-estranged mother, plunging her into a world of despair and perhaps pushed her over the edge.
“The most important thing are my babies must come home,” she wrote in an email to her private investigator pal Danno Hanks, who accounts Mindy’s conversation to PEOPLE. “She lost all hope.”
“People talk about a train wreck, but the world lost a real person, a human being, a mother,” says fellow country singer and friend Chely Wright. “I’m praying for her kids.”
Zander’s father is Mindy’s ex Billy McKnight