Openly gay Mississippi mayoral candidate found dead

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The body of Marco McMillian, an openly gay mayoral candidate, was found near a Mississippi highway on Wednesday. There is no word yet on the cause of death.

LGBT campaign organization Victory Fund described McMillian as “one of the 1st viable openly #LGBT candidates in MIssissippi.”

News of the discovery was first reported to the Press Register, who received a “reliable report, unconfirmed by the Coahoma County Sheriff’s office, that at approximately 8:45 AM, Wednesday, the body of mayoral candidate Marco McMillian was found by the levee off HIghway 1.”

Police had been searching for McMillian since Tuesday when another man, Lawrence Reed, drove McMillian’s car into another vehicle on Highway 49, near the county border of Tallahatchi and Coahoma counties.

Reed was injured and airlifted to a hospital in Memphis. A person of interest, likely Reed, has been taken into custody, according to the Clarion Ledger, though charges have yet to be filed as of Wednesday afternoon.

Jarod Keith, McMillian’s campaign spokesman, said that McMillian’s sexuality never came up during the campaign. The candidate had joined the race on the platform of fighting crime and unemployment.

Just Wednesday, McMillian’s Facebook team wrote a post after the car accident, when it was discovered that McMillian was missing, that said, “After today’s events, we are deeply concerned about Marco’s disappearance. Marco is a wonderful man and embodies an unwavering spirit of service to others. We continue to be hopeful that he will be found in good health.”

On Wednesday, after his body was found, his team wrote, “Words cannot describe our grief at the loss of our dear friend, Marco McMillian. The shocking news of Marco’s death is beyond difficult for us to process. We remember Marco as a bold and passionate public servant, whose faith informed every aspect of his life. Tragically, that life has been cut short.”

Details of the case, including any particular motives, have yet to be released to the public.

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