A father of two set a trailer of his belongings on fire, then decapitated himself just blocks from where his wife and children lived in Yorktown, Va., about 15 miles from Williamsburg.
The 46-year-old man has not been identified by police because his death has been ruled a suicide, but police told ABCNews.com he had recently moved from Chicago to join his wife, teenage daughter and son, who is in middle school. York County Sheriff Danny Diggs said the couple had separated, but he didn't know if they had divorced.
"She had moved down here and had been settled for some amount of time," Diggs told ABCNews.com.
The man had stayed with the mother of his children Monday night, Diggs said, but "she told him that was unacceptable -- he would have to find his own place."
"That could have led to his distress," Diggs said.