By: Christine Nicco/TRT Reporter–
JACKSON, Miss. — The death of openly mayoral candidate, whose remains were found last week along the Mississippi River levee, is sending shockwaves to the LGBT and allied communities in what seems like a homicide, according to gawker.com.
A statement his family released to several media outlets yesterday said the the first openly gay candidate for mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi, Marco McMillian “was beaten, dragged, and set on fire.”
According to TheCommercialAppeal.com, McMillian was reported missing after authorities discovered his sports-utility vehicle was involved in a two-car crash Tuesday on Miss. 49 near the Coahoma/Tallhatchie county line.
The victim’s family e-statement also alleged foul play.
“We know that Marco was brutally murdered. His body was found on Wednesday, February 26, 2013, beaten, dragged and burned (set afire),” his family said via the e-mail released through his campaign manager Jarod Keith. “This was reported in our meeting with the local coroner on two occasions. We were informed that the official autopsy report could take two to four weeks to complete.
“We feel that this was not a random act of violence based on the condition of the body when it was found. Marco, nor anyone, should have their lives end in this manner.”
The circumstance surrounding McMillian’s death remain under investigation. According to The Huffington Post, “The cause of death has not been released. An autopsy was performed, but toxicology tests are pending.”
McMillan, 34, a native of Clarksdale, had announced his candidacy for mayor last month. He said he entered the race because he wanted to combat crime and bring economic development to the city of 17,000 people. He is believed to be one of the first openly gay candidates to run for office in the state.
The mayoral candidate seemed eager to run for the position and commented via his Facebook page about his dreams.
“Clarksdale has some big problems and we can’t solve them until YOU are on board. Join us for THE TALK on Monday,” he typed trying to get people to join a town meeting. That seemed to have been the last entry that Clarksdale, himself, typed on February 14th, Valentine’s Day.