"He was found in a barn, on the first floor," Crawford County Chief Deputy Coroner Scott Schell told AOL News. "He had tied a rope onto a beam, placed [the other end] around his neck and then jumped to the ground from a ladder."
Stephanie Schroeck found Gingerich hanging in the barn around 3 p.m. Friday, according to Schell. Gingerich had gone out to feed the horses around 10 a.m. Schroeck made the discovery when she went out to check on him.
Gingerich captured national headlines in March 1993 when he brutally killed his wife, 29-year-old Katie.
According to police, Gingerich, who had previously been treated for severe mental health issues, attacked his wife in front of their two children, ages 3 and 5. The children stood by helplessly as their dad beat their mother so severely that his fists crushed her skull. Afterward, he undressed his wife and cut out her internal organs. When he was finished, Gingerich burned his Bible and led his children outside.
When authorities learned of Gingerich's brutal crime, he was arrested and charged with murder.
In 1994, a jury of his peers found Gingerich guilty of "involuntary manslaughter but mentally ill." He was sentenced to a minimum term of 2 1/2 years and a maximum of five, with credit for time served. Gingerich was denied his first bid for parole in December 1995 but he was released on March 19, 1998, after serving his full sentence.
Gingerich moved to a community for troubled Amish in Evart, Mich., where he remained until December 2006, when he moved to a psychiatric center in Goshen, Ind. Gingerich stayed at the center approximately one month before returning to Pennsylvania.
It was not long before Gingerich again made headlines.
In April 2007, authorities in Pennsylvania arrested Gingerich after he accosted his 15-year-old daughter and took her to a camp in McKean County. He was charged with concealment of the whereabouts of a child and interfering with the custody a child.
At the time of his second arrest, Dr. Deborah Schurman-Kauflin warned that, without psychiatric care and a strict medication schedule, Gingerich would continue to act out and would eventually hurt himself or others.
"Paranoia and fear will make him more likely to act out again," Schurman-Kauflin, a criminal profiler with more than 20 years' experience, told Tru TV's Crime Library.
Gingerich later entered a no-contest plea to criminal conspiracy to commit concealment of the whereabouts of a child, a second-degree misdemeanor. During his sentencing hearing, on Dec. 5, 2007, Gingerich was sentenced to six months of probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine.
Following that court hearing, John Otto, a New Order Amish man living in Crawford County, made it clear that no one in the Amish community should have any dealings with Gingerich.
"Anybody from the Brownhill Amish who accepts Ed will be shunned," Otto told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
In February 2008, Gingerich, who was prohibited from possessing a firearm, again found himself in hot water when he was caught hunting with a gun. He was charged with a second-degree felony. In October of that year he pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to three months in jail.
It is not immediately clear where Gingerich went following his release from jail. About six months ago, he moved in with Schroeck and his wife.
The Schroecks did not immediately return calls for comment from AOL News today. On Saturday, George Schroeck told Reuters that Gingerich had left a message written in dust on top of a bucket that read, "Forgive me, please."
Schell said he was unaware of any such message.
"No, I don't know anything about that," Schell said. "The state police and I didn't see that anywhere."
Schroeck, who has known Gingerich since 1994, said Gingerich was very depressed. He also said he was deeply hurt when the Amish community shunned him.
"His community completely deserted him. They shunned him. They kept him from rejoining his family," Schroeck told Reuters. "He was an awfully good person, and he could have helped his community a lot."
According to court documents, Gingerich's wife died a brutal and excruciatingly painful death. Her husband, however, was much more fortunate, Schell said
"In his case, I believe it probably was a quick death," he said.