Marco McMillian, a gay mayoral candidate in Clarksdale, Miss., was found dead near the Mississippi River on Wednesday (Feb. 27) morning after being reported missing a day prior. Although charges have not been filed, a person of interest has been taken into custody, sparking the possibility of a homicide investigation.
McMillian's campaign staff touted him as the first open homos-xual man to run for public office in the small Coahoma County town. After McMillian's SUV was involved in a wreck on Tuesday, authorities were alerted by the absence of McMillian at the scene wrote the Clarion Ledger. The vehicle's driver, 22-year-old Lawrence Reed of Clarksdale, was involved in a head-on crash with another car. After both drivers were treated at separate local hospitals, Reed was taken in for questioning in regards to McMillian's whereabouts.
Involved in a tight race with former gubernatorial candidate Bill Luckett and state Rep. Chuck Espy, McMillian built his campaign on fighting crime and creating job opportunities in his hometown. “He always believed in helping,” said friend Damon Ray to the Ledger. “He told me he wanted to do the same in Clarksdale, to help out with crime and unemployment.”
Espy, whose father is the current mayor of Clarksdale, offered kind words and condolences to McMillian's family. Luckett also shared his thoughts on McMillian's passing, calling the situation “tragic.”
McMillian was a member of Phi Beta Sigma, a historically Black fraternity, and had previously served as its International Executive Director.
See a few photos of McMillian in the gallery.