(Monett-Times)- Police are investigating an apparent suicide involving the burning of three buildings in rural Everton northeast of Halltown today.
Claud Adale Sullins, 73, of rural Everton was found near his home by firefighters and neighbors responding to a blaze on Sullins' property.
According to Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay, passersby discovered a burning barn on Sullins' property and ultimately, the burning house and a third building at 11:15 a.m. today.
Firefighters from Halltown, Bois D'Arc, Mt. Vernon. Willard, West Republic, Miller, Walnut Grove and Ash Grove responded to the scene at 2346 Farm Road 1235 east of Lawrenceburg, along with several neighbors.
Sullins' body was found next to a tree northwest of the home with a shotgun.
"It looks like a self-inflicted wound," said DeLay. "The weapon was found next to the body." No suicide note had been found as of press time.
DeLay said the fires appeared to have been intentionally set. The state fire marshal had responded to the scene to attempt to determine the origin of the fires.
Sullins' wife, who arrived at the scene later, was too distraught to speak to officers. His son lives on an adjacent property and was interviewed.
An autopsy has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Springfield.