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Mindy McCready Suicide: Ex-Boyfriend Billy McKnight Reacts

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Mindy McCready fought for years to gain full custody of her oldest son, Zander, and finally won that battle just about two months before she died of what police believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday. In the wake of her tragic death, another custody battle is seemingly inevitable over not only Zander but also his younger half brother, Zayne. The two young children are currently in foster care in Arkansas.

Zander’s father, Billy McKnight appeared on NBC’s “Today” show Monday to plead his case. “He shouldn’t have been taken from me to begin with. He was taken out of Florida,” recalls McCready’s ex-boyfriend. “He has a happy home here. I can provide for him. It’s just been a really big mess and enough is enough. He’s up there, all alone. He has no family in Arkansas. He has plenty of family who love him here. He needs to come home … He has had a rough first six years. He deserves better than this, and my heart is broken for him right now.”

McKnight went on to insist he will help Zander see baby brother Zayne, whom he is guessing will end up with McCready’s mother in Ft. Myers, Fla., which is just an hour and a half away from where he lives. Zayne’s father is McCready’s late fiancé, David Wilson, who died Jan. 13 from what was originally believed to be a suicide, yet police have not yet ruled out the possibility of murder.

As for McCready’s death, there is no question in McKnight’s mind that it was a suicide — one that he unfortunately saw coming. “As sad as it is, it didn’t come as a major shock because she’s been battling demons for so long,” he says. “I was around her when she attempted suicide twice, so I knew it was in her. I feel for her mother and her family and especially my son. But I can’t say that it shocked me.”

McCready was hospitalized earlier this month to undergo treatment for alleged alcohol abuse and mental issues, all stemming from Wilson’s death. She was released to an outpatient facility after doctors deemed she did not have symptoms of an alcoholic and was able to live on her own. McKnight says that release came way too soon. “I don’t know how she got out … Perhaps staying in there and grieving around people that could help her over the death of her fiancé, could have calmed her down. But the demons that she hasn’t beaten were there, and until she was going to face them, something was going to happen. Everyone who knows her personally knew that.”

Mindy McCready was 37 years old. She was found dead on the same front porch of her home in Arkansas where Wilson, whom she called her “soulmate,” died.

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