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Like so many things these days, the nation's struggling economy is at least partly to blame. After Carter disappeared, his utilities were eventually shut off and it was presumed his home had been abandoned. But that's only part of the sad story.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl dug deeper into the story and discovered that Carter, intentionally or not, had nearly all of his bases covered before apparently choosing to end his own life in utter seclusion.
Carter told his friends and neighbors that he was planning to move to New Mexico. When he first disappeared, they apparently assumed he had followed through on those plans.
Carter had no siblings and never met his father. The death of his mother in 1997 reportedly put him in a depressive state he never recovered from. His friends described Carter as a "giving and funny guy." But as with many cases of severe depression, it appears Carter spent enough time in isolation that his disappearance didn't immediately register as alarming.