Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and City of Burlington Police Chief John Fine announced that a man suspected of killing an elderly woman inside her home Wednesday afternoon fatally shot himself last night as he was approached by investigators.
Kenneth Mackintosh, 51, was a transient handyman who occasionally did work for the victim in her Earl Street home. The body of Carla Nesmith, 61, was found bludgeoned and stabbed by a tenant who rented a room at her residence. An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood concluded that her death was due to multiple blunt and sharp trauma.
“First, we’d like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Carla Nesmith, on the tragic loss of their loved one,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “Second, I’d like to commend the detectives from the City of Burlington Police Department and the BCPO for their skilled and expeditious investigation that enabled us to quickly identify Ms. Nesmith’s killer. 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.”
Investigators identified Mackintosh as a suspect soon after the victim was discovered. It was established that he had been at her home on Wednesday morning.
Mackintosh was located last night at the Travel Inn motel on Route 38 in Lumberton, where investigators from the City of Burlington Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office observed him leaving his room. As they approached him, Mackintosh placed a .38 caliber handgun to his head and pulled the trigger.
He was taken by helicopter to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where he was pronounced dead approximately two hours later. The gun Mackintosh used to kill himself belonged to Carla Nesmith and had been taken from her home. The motive behind her homicide remains unclear.
The homicide and suicide are being investigated by detectives from the City of Burlington Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. The lead investigators are City of Burlington Detective Dave Edwardson and BCPO Detective Leah McHale.