Kevin Garner’s body was found at his Priceville, Alabama home. The home had been burnt to the ground. the sheriff’s office reports that he was shot in the chest by his own hand.
The divorce hearing was set to start on Wednesday.
Earlier on Tuesday four bodies discovered near the Tennessee line. They have been identified as wife Tammy, 40; their 16-year-old daughter, Chelsie; Garner’s sister, Karen Beaty of Illinois; and Beaty’s 11-year-old son, whose name was not released. Garner is the top suspect in the murders.
It is believed that the victims were killed on Monday with a handgun.
Tammy Garner was seeking a divorce on grounds of abuse, she was trying to obtain sole custody and alleged that her husband had been physically and emotionally abusive.
Kevin Garner countered that she had been unfaithful and taken $38,000 out of their joint bank account when they separated on May 27.
“Now that we know the final end of it all it’s just going back and putting the pieces together,” Corley said. “We feel like this was solely a homicide, that he killed them, then went to the home. He used some type of accelerant that caused the home to burn very, very quickly, then walked about 200 yards back into a wooded area behind the house and took his life.”
The couple had been in court on Monday. Nothing at that time seemed out of place.
It is believed that Beaty and her son may have been on the witness list for the divorce case.
Garner had worked for a chemical company in Decatur. Tammy Garner worked at a department store in Huntsville.
Jerry Knight, an attorney who represented Kevin Garner in the divorce case, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that Garner “had a terrific work ethic and value system. I was terribly shocked and saddened by this unexpected tragedy.”