Man Who Murdered His Mother And Set Her On Fire Found Dead In Jail Cell

Jail Cell

An apparent suicide occurred in a Massachusetts man’s cell on Sunday after he was arrested Friday night and charged with murder for the death of his mother.

A murder charge was filed against Adam Howe, 34, in the death of his mother, Susan Howe. It is believed that Adam Howe suffocated himself using toilet paper, according to local media sources.

Late Friday, Susan Howe, 48, was found dead at her Truro home during a well-being check. Michael O’Keefe, the Cape and Islands District Attorney, and Truro police Chief Jamie Calise announced Saturday that first responders found the woman’s body burned outside her house.

When the authorities arrived, they found Adam Howe, later identified as the suspect, on the lawn with a fire burning.

Upon realizing that a body was burning in that fire, the male suspect ran into the house and locked the door, O’Keefe and Calise said in a joint statement released Saturday.

As reported by the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, Adam Howe was transported to Cape Cod Hospital for psychiatric evaluation by Massachusetts State Police.

“Medical professionals at Cape Cod Hospital examined Mr. Howe and cleared him to return to custody. He was then transported by Mass. State Police to the Ash Street Jail in New Bedford on Saturday afternoon,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

A corrections officer was assigned to check on Adam Howe visually every 15 minutes at the jail. He was dressed in clothing designed specifically for at-risk prisoners. In between those rounds, he caused his own medical emergency, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Adam Howe was found unresponsive by correctional officers at the jail at 3:04 p.m. Sunday. New Bedford EMS was immediately contacted, and three correctional officers and two jail nurses performed CPR. “Mr. Howe was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:37 p.m.,” Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn said.

There is no evidence of foul play.

“This tragic case illustrates the broken nature of the mental health system, specifically when it’s entwined with the criminal justice system,” said Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe.

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. Massachusetts man accused of killing mother dead after medical emergency in cell  WCVB Boston
  2. Cape Cod man accused of lighting his mother on fire dies following medical emergency in jail cell  Yahoo! Voices
  3. Cape Cod man accused of murdering his mother and setting her on fire is dead  Boston Herald
  4. Man accused of killing mother in Truro has died, DA and sheriff’s office say  The Boston Globe
  5. Truro man dead after being charged with murdering mother  Boston.com
John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.