Howard Rudolph update: 'Mercy killing' suspect found dead in Peoria, according to MCSO

PEORIA, AZ - Authorities say a Sun City man accused in a "mercy killing" who has been on the run since Monday, was found dead inside his vehicle Tuesday night.

79-year-old Howard Rudolph was arrested for the murder of his 73-year-old wife in August of 2013.

MCSO officials said the suspect's body was found in a vehicle parked at an apartment complex near 99th Avenue and Deer Valley in Peoria.

His body was found around 4 p.m., officials said. MCSO is "certain" the victim died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the stomach.

A warrant was issued for Rudolph, who was on house arrest in the shooting death of his 73-year-old wife last August in what was called a mercy killing.

Sheriff's officials said a white 2006 Lincoln Town Car was found in the parking lot of an apartment complex and the license plate matches that of Rudolph's vehicle.

Air15 video from the scene shows police crime tape around the parking lot near the vehicle.

Rudolph was arrested Aug. 7 and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Earlene Rudolph.

Sheriff's officials cited statements made by Rudolph about his wife being ill and what he wrote in a note found with a revolver at the home.

"I had to do it," Rudolph told deputies after his arrest, according to court paperwork.

Investigators believe Rudolph intended to kill himself after allegedly killing his wife of 13 years.

They said Rudolph had written a note to his attorney containing specific instructions on how "the bodies" should be cremated and how the couple's home should be handled.

Deputies went to the couple's house in the Phoenix-area retirement community after the Sheriff's Office received a hang-up 911 call from the home.

They say Rudolph made incriminating statements after deputies found Earlene Rudolph dead in a bathroom with what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds

Rudolph was released to the custody of his friends under electronic monitoring in February.

A county Superior Court judge issued a warrant for Rudolph's arrest for violating the conditions of jail release, according to the court docket.

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