Mo. Woman Fatally Shot by Estranged Husband Before He's Found Dead Inside Burning Home: Police

A Missouri man is suspected of fatally shooting his estranged wife during an argument in the parking lot of her apartment complex, then returning to the home they previously shared and setting it on fire before fatally shooting himself, police say.

Bobette Everhart-Boal and Michael C. Boal, both 59, were due in court this week on a divorce proceeding sought by the wife, Lt. Christopher Connelly of the Chesterfield Police Department in suburban St. Louis County tells PEOPLE.

Police initially received a call about shots fired around 12:45 a.m. Sunday, and responded to the Baxter Crossing Apartments in Chesterfield to find Everhart-Boal shot in the parking lot, says Connelly.

Everhart-Boal had been staying at the apartment complex with her daughter when her estranged husband showed up and “they got into an altercation,” Connelly says.

She was declared dead at the scene.

While that investigation was underway, Chesterfield officers who share a radio frequency with other law enforcement agencies received a report about a house fire in the adjacent suburb of Wildwood, and they alerted responding St. Louis County Police officers that the home address matched their victim’s former residence.

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After extinguishing the fire at the two-story home on Dartmouth Gate Circle, firefighters discovered a man’s body inside.

“It appears [Michael] Boal set the fire and then shot himself,” St. Louis County Police spokesman Tracy Panus tells PEOPLE in an email.

Authorities are awaiting an autopsy before giving an official cause of death.

The couple, married in 1991, purchased the home in 2000 but were “living separate lives” since November 2018 while under the same roof, according to Everhart-Boal’s August divorce filing, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A former neighbor of the couple, Debbie Montgomery, told TV news station KSDK that Everhart-Boal “was a beautiful woman. Fun. Loved life.”

“We investigate probably on a daily basis different domestic issues and sometimes it just gets totally out of hand and results in something like this,” Lt. Connelly told the outlet. “It is a sad situation.”

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