The last Facebook post that Kendy Howard ever made was one of those online quizzes that predict the future.
“Kendy, 2021 will bring you a single but happy life,” it read.
The 48-year-old Idaho mother of two commented with three letters: “Lol.”
Later on the night of Feb. 2, 2021, Howard was dead. Her husband, a disgraced former state trooper Daniel Howard, called police and told them the medical clerk shot herself.
Two long years later, Daniel Howard, 57, has been charged with murdering Kendy, and also with domestic assault. He surrendered to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office on Friday night.
Kendy’s adult daughter, Brooke Wilkins, posted about her relief on Facebook.
“The last two years have felt like a lifetime,” shewrote. “Full of doubts and unanswered questions. The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind. This is only the beginning but my heart hurts a little less today.
“I am so thankful and appreciative to everyone who has worked towards this and has kept my moms memory alive. It means more than I can ever put into words.”
It was not clear if Daniel Howard has an attorney. His Facebook page still bears a profile photo of himself and Kendy.
News stories and public records show he has a long history of shady behavior.
He was suspended from the Idaho State Police in 2014 after being accused of stealing ammunition, using a fake name in a motorcycle title application, and possession of an untagged deer, according to The Coeur d’Alene Press.
In a separate case, according to the newspaper, he was charged with stalking, assault, and property damage for a campaign of intimidation he waged against a man he believed was having an affair with Kendy.
“Damaging Wood’s property with corn syrup, stealing his guns, stealing his mail, placing the anonymous letter in Wood’s mailbox, placing the graffiti on his lawn, following him in a patrol car, pointing a rifle at him and even shooting his roof with a shotgun were done in a way to cause the most emotional damage to Wood but limit any physical evidence the perpetrator was Daniel Howard,” a detective wrote in an affidavit.
The cases were wrapped up with a guilty plea to two of the charges, for which Howard got a suspended sentence of three years in prison, 120 days in jail and 600 hours of community service.
Kendy’s daughter said on Facebook that at the time of her death, her mother was planning to file for divorce—after years of domestic violence.
“The marriage was always bad. But it became terrible the last couple years,” Wilkins wrote. “She was coming to work with bruises. She would do anything not to be home when he was. He would threaten to kill himself if she wanted to leave.”
Her mother started gathering her financial paperwork, speaking to attorneys, and looking for houses in her hometown, she wrote.
“A week before her death law enforcement was called to escort her out of the house. She woke up with him standing above her wearing all black and gloves. While talking to him she was able to get her phone and make a call. She didn’t want to talk to law enforcement just wanted out,” Wilkins said.
She said the couple went their separate ways for the weekend, and friends begged Kendy not to return to the house. But she did not think he would do anything worse than hit her.
“He came home February 2nd and she didn’t make it to February 3rd,” her daughter wrote. “My mom who never touched guns was found naked in her bathtub-killed with a gun.”
Kendy’s lengthy obituary—which said she was “was well known for her bright smile and outgoing personality”—didn’t mention Daniel Howard.
It’s not known why it took two years for authorities to charge Howard. On the second anniversary of her death, her daughter said she was still waiting for justice.
“Most days I remember you and I’m sad. Today I remember you and I’m so angry. I’m angry that someone decided that your life was disposable. I’m angry that he has tried to erase you while pretending to grieve you,” Wilkins wrote.
“Today equals two years of waiting. Waiting for a criminal to be held accountable for all the hurt he caused you. Before this I couldn’t have imagined the pain and frustration people have to deal with when they are in these legal situations. ”
She added, “You deserved so much more out of life. Mommas shouldn’t be scared to go home. Your light lives on. But there is a big hole here without you… You didn’t get to live your life free without someone trying to kill your spirit. I love and miss you so much. It doesn’t get easier. I have just learned to live life differently.”
Kendy’s own Facebook page, which is still up, was full of photos of friends and family, recipes, music videos, and memes. One chillingly prescient post three days before her death was a repost of a quote: “If I’m ever murdered, feel comfort in the fact that I ran my mouth until the bitter end.”
She included a three-letter comment: “Lol.”