As per the officials, Howe had previously expressed suicidal ideation while he was at a hospital.
Trigger Warning: This story mentions details of suicide which may be disturbing to readers.
Adam Howe, a 34-year-old man from Massachusetts, was found dead in his prison cell, just days after he was arrested on account of murdering his own mother, according to People.
The cause of death has been reported to be choking on wet toilet paper stuffed down his throat. His airways were obstructed. As per the officials, Howe had previously expressed suicidal ideation while he was at a hospital, prior to being found dead at the Ash Street Jail in New Bedford, where he had been sent following his arrest.
Mass. Man Accused of Killing Mom and Setting Her on Fire Dies in Custody After Choking on Wet Toilet Paper https://t.co/1ZFTUJwk5X— People (@people) October 4, 2022
Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office confirmed that Howe was arrested for murdering his mother, 69-year-old Susan Howe, who he used to live with. The authorities had received a report about a fire in her house and were asked to check up on her wellness, according to Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe and Truro Police Chief Jamie Calise.
The report read, "Emergency personnel responded to a location in Truro at approximately 9:30 p.m. Friday night. Upon arrival, they encountered a male subject outside the house and a fire on the front lawn." Emergency officials soon realized "that it was a body that was burning" on the lawn, and watched as "the male subject ran into the house and locked the door" behind him. Susan was set ablaze around 9:30 p.m. in front of the 900,000-dollar Cape Cod home in the Truro area.
After Adam locked himself inside the home off Quail Ridge Road, the Cape Cod Regional SWAT Team forcibly pulled him out and placed him under arrest. The statement of arrest read, "Howe, experiencing difficulty breathing, was transported to Cape Cod Hospital, arriving there at approximately 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning. He was shackled to a gurney after being examined and being watched by hospital personnel with eyes on him at all times. In the room also were Massachusetts State Police and security personnel from the hospital. The hospital wanted to have him discharged as soon as practical and efforts were made to contact a secure facility to take him."
While in the hospital, as mentioned, he expressed suicidal thoughts. After being discharged, he was sent to jail where supervisors put him on security watch and did a visual check every 15 minutes, as per New York Post. He was also clothed in a rip-resistant nylon smock for his safety.
"Mr. Howe clogged his airways with wet toilet paper and suffered a medical emergency," a statement from spokesman Jonathan Darling of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office said about his death in custody. "Out of respect for the family, we have no additional comment or detail. That family has been through a lot this weekend. Please keep them in your prayers."
Massachusetts Man Accused of Killing His Mom Dies in Police Custody After Choking on Wet Toilet Paper https://t.co/0VIJucKzNo— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) October 5, 2022
Howe had a prior criminal record when, in August, he was charged for breaking into a business in Truro, Massachusetts, and for possession of Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addiction, without a prescription. Susan, his mother, was the president of Truro Historical Society and was also involved in the Truro Commission on the Disabled, the Community Preservation Committee, and the Walsh Committee.
The Truro Historical Society Board of Directors said in a press release, "Susan brought immense creativity, energy, time, and passion to our organization. She loved Truro, and was totally committed to preserving our history and culture and the well-being of her beloved town." Photos of her on social media suggest how cheerfully she celebrated Howe's wedding in 2019 while another picture showed the mother-son duo after Adam's first child was born. The photo is captioned, "Three generations."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/ Steven Puetzer
If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)