A Georgia woman who recently reported her husband, a local police officer, for domestic violence was found dead in her home Monday, authorities said. Her husband told authorities it was a suicide—but police are still investigating.
Deputies found Amanda Perrault, 44, dead in her Eatonton, Georgia, home on Monday afternoon, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills told The Daily Beast. Sills said the woman's husband, Eatonton County Police officer Michael Perrault, was there at the time of her death but did not call 911.
Instead, the officer called the Eatonton police chief to say his wife had taken her own life. The chief called Sills to investigate.
“We responded to the scene immediately, and we found his wife dead of a single gunshot wound in their bedroom,” Sills said. “He told us they had been arguing and that she produced a handgun and killed herself.”
The sheriff’s office executed a search warrant at the residence Monday evening and were still processing that crime scene Tuesday night. They also called in investigators from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to help examine what Sills called a “suspicious” crime scene.
The results of an autopsy are pending, but Sills said that the only visible trauma to Perrault's body was a single gunshot wound to the head.
“He says it’s a suicide, but we’re looking at it with the utmost scrutiny,” the sheriff said.
Perrault’s husband, who has been on administrative leave from the Eatonton Police Department since the domestic violence charges were filed, could not be reached for comment. He has not been arrested in connection with his wife’s death.
Less than a week ago, Perrault told police her husband hit her in the face and pushed her out of their front door. Sills said that the couple’s 8-year-old daughter had witnessed them fighting and saw her father shove Perrault. Deputies on the scene saw red marks on her chest consistent with shoving.
Her husband was arrested last Tuesday and charged with simple battery and cruelty to children in the third degree, according to Putnam County Jail records. He denied the allegations and was released on a $1,500 bond. Perrault's parents say he then returned to the family home.
“She said he had nowhere else to go,” Perrault’s mother, Sharron Brookshire, told The Daily Beast.
Her father said Perrault spoke to her adult daughter around noon on Monday—around the time she posted a wedding photo on her Facebook page—and told her she would check in later that night.
Her husband never called to tell them about her death, he added. Instead, they learned about it through her son from a previous marriage, who received the news from authorities.
The family said Perrault and her husband had been together approximately eight years. She often complained to them about her husband striking her, choking her, and kicking her out of their house, they said. Her mother added that she once recalled him dragging her across the pavement.
In September, Perrault told a close friend that her husband had taken out a life insurance policy on her without telling her. In messages reviewed by The Daily Beast, she told the friend, Carrie Tegeder, that her husband was “super jealous” and “records everything.”
“Have a nice place but living in a prison,” she wrote in a Sept. 10 Facebook message. “Going to delete these msgs… He may still see them… But keep them for me pls.”
“I’m good for now, I promise,” she added when her friend expressed concern. “Held my own for 8 yrs with him.”
Tegeder says Perrault later sent photos of what she said were injuries caused by her husband.
“She said, ‘Please swear you’re going to keep these for me,’” Tegeder said. “‘In case anything ever happens to me, you can share them with my mother.’”
Perrault's mother said she had been keeping close tabs on her since the domestic violence report, asking her to check in frequently by text message. The last message she received from Perrault was about a photo of her two sisters taken that weekend. She said they looked “angelic.”
“We’re just trying our very best to piece everything together for her,” Tegeder said. “Because we’re the only voice she has.”