Person of interest in Oklahoma cold case dies by suicide in Weslaco

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A 79-year-old man who was a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife in Oklahoma 25 years ago died by suicide in Weslaco Thursday morning, according to a Missouri television station.

Weslaco police on Thursday afternoon said in a news release that officers responded to a report regarding a suicidal male at the Southern Comfort RV Park at 8:05 a.m. where they found James Lee Sweeten dead.

A cold case detective told KSN 16 that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The detective, Mark Wall, told the television station that he was a person of interest in the 1998 disappearance of Peggy A. Sweeten.

Authorities believe her body was found in a 55-gallon drum at the bottom of a northeast Oklahoma lake in April, according to Indiana-based television station Fox 59.

In a news release, Weslaco police said the manner of death will be determined after an inquest is performed.

“The Weslaco Police Department would like to assure the surrounding community that they are safe, and we are not looking for any outstanding individuals related to this incident,” the release stated.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited for style.