Suicide is suspected in death of Newton man found after house destroyed by fire/Gough 11/29/2010
NEWTON - Officials say a 65-year-old man apparently set his own house on fire, then shot himself in the head early Monday morning in Newton.
Richard Swickard was found dead in the basement of his home at 1628 Hillcrest Road according to Harvey County Attorney David Yoder. He says the body was not burned, but there was a single gunshot wound to his head.
They are not investigating the case as a homicide, says Yoder telling us, there is strong evidence that the wound to the head was self inflicted with the suspected gun found near the body.
When fire crews arrived, the home was fully involved in flames and was destroyed. After the fire was out, the body was found.
The fire was deliberately set according to Yoder and was reported to 911 shortly after 5:30 a-m.
The question for investigators now is what did he use to start the fire, but the big question will be why did he do it? That is yet to be answered, but his divorce may be a factor.