A 34-year-old heroin addict killed his mother, 70, and set her body on fire outside of the $900,000 home they shared in affluent Cape Cod, Massachusetts, according to the local prosecutor’s office. After the Cape Cod SWAT team searched the house on Friday night, Adam Howe was arrested. Friends of the family called the police to Susan Howe’s Truro home to inquire about her well-being. Due to a report of a fire, the neighborhood fire department was called to the scene at the same time the welfare check was requested.
A family member had called and asked to check on the house, according to Tara Miltimore, an assistant district attorney, as quoted by Cape Cod Times. One of the family’s close friends claimed that Adam and his wife were both heroin addicts. The accused was about to be kicked out of his mother’s house because of his drug use.
Days after going missing, the mother and her 8-year-old son’s bodies were discovered stuffed inside a couch.
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According to a press release issued jointly by the police department and the prosecutor’s office, when police first arrived on the scene, they quickly realized that the fire was being caused by a dead body burning. When the police arrived, Adam—who had been standing close to the fire—ran away. Shortly after, he was taken into custody. The responding officers recognized Adam’s mother as the person on fire.
Susan Howe held the dual positions of chair of the Truro Commission on Disabilities and president of the Truro Historical Society. According to Susan’s Facebook page, she also worked at a clothing store in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. She lived in Truro’s Houser Way neighborhood. Zillow estimates the value of her home at over $900,000. A few weeks before turning 71, she passed away.
Adam claims on his LinkedIn page to have previously worked as a chef in a number of restaurants in Vermont and Massachusetts. In addition to appearing with Anne Burrell in a 2012 Food Network episode of “Chef Wanted,” he also contributed articles about food to the magazine Southern Vermont Landscapes. He had previously attended Boston’s Emmanuel College to study English literature, and according to the most recent update on that profile, he is now pursuing a degree in English at Castleton University.
The Truro government issued a statement in the wake of Howe’s passing. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends at this tragic time,” it continued, “Our hearts are heavy with the news that we have lost a beloved member of our community, Susan Howe.” We have no additional comments at this time because we are following law enforcement’s lead as they investigate this tragedy.
According to Boston Globe reporter Michael O’Keefe, the district attorney’s office is asking that Howe be taken from police custody and put in a mental health facility. “At any subsequent legal proceedings, we must affirmatively demonstrate that this man was sane at the time of the crime. The evaluation should be completed as soon as possible after the events that caused someone to pass away.
Working with the Truro Police, the State Fire Marshalls Office, and the District Attorney’s Office are State Police Detectives assigned to the investigation.