The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said on Tuesday that Stewart confessed to killing his wife, Julie Stewart, during the standoff. Investigators said he stabbed her, wrapped her up in something and placed her body in the couple’s vehicle.
Before going back into the home, Stewart backed the car onto the driveway so that police would have access to the body, police said.
He took pills in an attempt to kill himself before surrendering, officials with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.
“He finally opened the door, came out and fell down to the ground by himself,” neighbor Dorothy Farabee told WJAX.
Gerard Stewart and Julie Stewart have one son together, WJAX reports. Julie Stewart was a stay-at-home mom who made money by walking dogs.
“We’ve seen them playing catch outside. We never would have thought,” Farabee said.
Court documents say that Julie Stewart filed for a divorce in April, after 20 years of marriage, seeking majority time-sharing with their son, alimony and exclusive occupancy of their home.
Gerard Stewart is now facing charges of murder and evidence tampering.
Neighbor Cal Walton said the couple lived in the home for nearly 15 years. Walton said that Stewart seemed happy last time he spoke to him.
“It was difficult to be out here working in the yard knowing that at one time or another on Saturday I could look across the way and see him doing the same thing," Walton said. “Cutting the grass. And he’s not. There’s police cars out there.”