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Suspect in 2 deaths shoots, kills himself

A man wanted in the slayings of a woman and her son fatally shot himself Saturday, an Arkansas State Police spokesman said.

Wayne Wade, 55, of Jacksonville, was wanted in connection with the shooting death of a Florida woman and her 12-year-old son. Their bodies were left in a remote, wooded area nearly two weeks ago.

State police spokesman Wayne Jordan said Jacksonville police had been looking for Wade. Jordan said they surrounded him at a relative's house in Jacksonville on Saturday, but he refused to give himself up.

About 7:45 p.m., Wade shot himself, Jordan said.

About three hours later, he died at University Medical Center from severe head wounds, said spokeswoman Melissa Stowers.

Cleburne County Sheriff Wayne Milligan had said that the more authorities learned about Wade, the more dangerous he seemed.

"I've talked to three people today as part of this investigation, and each one of them said they're going to stay somewhere else because they're afraid of him," Milligan said.

Authorities learned earlier this week that Wade was married and his wife lives in Arkansas. Milligan refused to say where.

"We kept hearing about a wife, but nobody in Florida had ever heard of her," Milligan said.

Someone told authorities about Wade's wife and how to locate her after the case was made public, Milligan said.

"She is scared to death," he said of Wade's wife. "She married him last August, and Wade didn't treat her very well."

The victims were Cathy Howard, 46, and her son, Miles Patrick Howard, of Orange Park. Their decomposed bodies were found July 12 by a hiker on a 103-acre property in Cleburne County.

Milligan said Wade had been looking at property to buy in the county and told local real estate agents that he planned to buy the land. He said he was going to use money from a winning $6 million lottery ticket to pay for it. But Milligan said Wade had no money.

"He didn't win a lottery. He told people a lot of stories, but he was living on money that family and friends had given him," Milligan said.

Family and friends in Florida said Wade told Cathy Howard he planned to give her the land and convinced her to drive to Arkansas with him July 6 to look at the property. The Howards were last seen alive July 7.

It is unclear what relationship Wade had with Cathy Howard. Milligan said the two had been friends for at least 17 years. Wade had been a friend of Howard's husband, who died of natural causes 13 years ago.