A suspect in the stabbing death a 61-year-old Burlington woman committed suicide late Thursday when detectives approached him outside a Travel Inn motel, authorities said.
Kenneth Mackintosh, 51, was a transient handyman who occasionally did work for the victim in her Earl Street home, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and City of Burlington Police Chief John Fine said.
Mackintosh fatally shot himself with a .38-caliber handgun outside the hotel on Route 38 in Lumberton, the prosecutor said.
"We are grateful that none of the officers involved in the investigation was injured when the subject chose to take his own life rather than face justice for his crime," Coffina said.
Carla Nesmith's body was found on Wednesday afternoon by a tenant who rented a room from the victim. Nesmith was pronounced dead at the scene.
Nesmith had been bludgeoned and stabbed, authorities said. An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood concluded that Nesmith's death was due to multiple blunt and sharp trauma.
Mackintosh had been at Nesmith's home on Wednesday morning, Coffina and Fine said.
“First, we’d like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Carla Nesmith, on the tragic loss of their loved one,” Coffina said. “Second, I’d like to commend the detectives. . .for their skilled and expeditious investigation that enabled us to quickly identify Ms. Nesmith’s killer."
As Mackintosh left his Travel Inn room, investigators from the City of Burlington Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office approached him, Coffina and Fine said.
"Mackintosh placed a .38 caliber handgun to his head and pulled the trigger," they said.
Macintosh was airlifted by helicopter to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where he was pronounced dead about two hours later, they said.
The gun Mackintosh used to kill himself belonged to Carla Nesmith and had been taken from her home, Coffina and Fine said.
The motive behind her homicide remains unclear, they said.
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