Six days after a Kentucky hospital executive was found dead in a shallow grave outside her home, the case ended with an equally grisly discovery: the corpse of her husband, the chief suspect in her murder.
The body of Gary Culp, 56, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, was found July 28 in a hotel room in Blue Springs, Mo., a Kansas City, Mo., suburb about 760 miles west of the home in Kenna, W.Va., where Linda Culp's body was discovered July 22.
He had been the subject of a nationwide manhunt since shortly after his wife's body was found, and two days before his death his case was featured on "America's Most Wanted," a TV crime show.
Police believe that Linda Culp, 55, president and CEO of 95-bed Marymount Medical Center in London, Ky., was killed by her husband several days before her body was discovered. Authorities have not yet released a cause of death for Linda Culp, who lived in London but commuted to the couple's home in rural Kenna to spend weekends with her husband.
"It's a sad situation-all the way around," said Senior Trooper Jay Powers of the West Virginia State Police. "For Linda Culp's family. For Gary Culp's family. The case is closed in the sense of looking for Gary Culp, but now we're just trying to find some answers."
Those answers could include a possible motive for the killing. Gary Culp reportedly suffered from Huntington's disease, an incurable degenerative disorder that affects the mind and body.
"There may have been some money situations at the house," Powers said. "And they're looking to see if that disease had any influence."
Linda Culp was named four months ago to head Marymount, part of Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives. She previously had worked at 252-bed St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg, W.Va., for more than 30 years.
"While Linda was a relatively new member of the Marymount team, she quickly became a member of the family and a visionary leader in the London healthcare community," a statement from the hospital said. "Linda's vibrant, infectious personality was appreciated in all levels of the organization. She will be greatly missed by her Marymount family and all those who knew her."