Over the weekend, Mississippi mom Khristie Shoats, 45, was found deceased in her car at her home in Woodville, reports The Advocate.
She was sitting in the passenger seat and had been shot in the head.
In February 2017, the mother of two shared a tender picture of the man who now stands accused of her murder:
As The Advocate reports, Rudolf “Rudi” Shoats, 48, is suspected in the shooting death of his wife. Her body was discovered Sunday after concerned friends asked local officials to conduct a welfare check.
Rudolf Shoats, who was a fire captain for the Zachary Fire Department and had a part-time role at another department, was reported as a “no call no show” when he failed to arrive for duty that day.
He didn’t show up for work the following day, either.
Khristie’s ex-husband, Roy Allen Nugent, stated the last time the couple was seen together was the night before Khristie was found; they were spotted leaving an event together.
Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Rudolf, who remained at large, shortly after discovering Khristie.
According to The Advocate, Wilkinson County Sheriff Reginald Jackson said officials had no clue of the husband’s whereabouts:
“We don’t have any idea where he’s at. He last used his phone at 1:30 p.m. yesterday, (when he) turned off his phone.”
WAFB reports that Rudolf’s work radio was turned off as well.
By Monday afternoon, authorities finally located Rudolf — 19 hours away in Durango, Colorado.
According to WAFB, officials were notified that the suspect was found outside of a local hospital. Rudolf reportedly shot himself in the head after pulling up, which caused his car to accelerate and plummet over a 16-foot retaining wall.
He was found dead in the car.
In light of their tragic deaths, Khristie’s ex-husband claimed he was aware of “issues” surrounding his ex-wife’s new partner. As Nugent told The Advocate:
“(She) had told me in the past he had a past of … anger issues. He was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of person.”
Nugent added that he and Khristie had always remained close after their divorce.
He said he will remember his ex-wife as a “loving mother, beautiful sister, unconditional best friend.”
In a statement, he said:
Khristie loved her son Colten and daughter Savannah without limits. This fiery redhead made friends anywhere she would go. (She) enjoyed life and never wasn’t a friend. […] This world lost a soul that only made this tiny world better. Thank you for making our lives better as you touched every soul.
Nugent said that he and their children are trying to cope with their loss, admitting their family is now “totally destroyed.”
As Khristie’s death has devastated those around her, it’s important to note that her alleged murder highlights a significant trend.
According to a newly released report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published by The Atlantic, half of all American women who are murdered are killed by their current or former intimate partner.
The report analyzed over 10,000 murdered women between 2003 and 2014 from 18 states:
Of those, 55 percent were intimate partner violence-related, meaning they occurred at the hands of a former or current partner or the partner’s family or friends.
Strangers committed just 16 percent of the killings, the study noted.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, intimate partner violence (IPV) affects more than 12 million people a year, mostly women.
If you are being abused or you suspect someone you know is, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).