PALM COAST, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Flagler County Sheriff's Office has upgraded charges against a man in an investigation into the death of his ex-wife.
Faith Cummings, 44, was found dead inside her Palm Coast home on Thursday. Her husband, Michael Cummings, 46, was arrested on an obstruction of justice charge, after he refused to leave the home while homicide detectives were attempting to conduct their investigation. He now faces a charge of second-degree murder.
During a news conference on Monday, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said Cummings was living with his ex-wife -- the couple divorced in 2013, but had since reconciled -- and an argument broke out between them.
"Based on a forensic analysis of the home and interviews, we believe an argument started in the garage over infidelity. We believe that Faith Cummings fled into the bathroom to protect herself, but the ex-husband followed and brutally attacked her," said Sheriff Staly.
The attack continued in the guest bedroom, according to investigators.
"The victim had multiple broken bones, including every rib with multiple fractures and other injuries consistent with a severe beating -- kicking and stomping from someone enraged," Staly added.
Detectives concluded that Cummings tried to hide the crime and that evidence at the scene did not match what he told a 911 operator. Investigators said Faith had been dead for hours, while Michael told the 911 operator that his wife fell and he had attempted to revive her. However, based on an autopsy, the medical examiner said her injuries pointed to homicide, ruling that the cause of death was due to blunt force trauma.
"In this case, we had no prior reports of domestic violence between them; however, during the investigation, we now know there were cases of domestic violence and the husband had a history of violence," Staly said.
Responding to questions as to why Cummings would face a second-degree murder charge, as opposed to a first-degree murder charge, Staly said the alleged murder did not appear to be premeditated.
"We think this incident started as a domestic argument and just spiraled out of control in a rage," explained Sheriff Staly.