Disturbing details have emerged in the murder of openly gay mayoral candidate Marco McMillian, whose body was found last week along the Mississippi River levee.
In order to “dispel speculations surrounding his death,” McMillian’s family released the following statement through his campaign manager Jarod Keith, obtained by The Commercial Appeal:
We know that Marco was brutally murdered. His body was found on Wednesday, February 26, 2013, beaten, dragged and burned (set afire). 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.
McMillian was reported missing after 22-year-old Shelby native Lawrence Reed (left) crashed his SUV last Tuesday.
Reed was airlifted to Memphis where he was treated for his injuries and later charged with McMillian’s murder. Reed, wearing a sling on his left arm, waived extradition in a Memphis courtroom on Monday.
McMillian announced his candidacy for mayor of Clarksdale last month and was believed to be one of the first openly gay candidates to run for office in Mississippi.
The CEO of a nonprofit consulting firm, McMillian was recognized in 2004 as one of Ebony‘s 30 up-and-coming African American leaders under 30. He hoped to combat crime and simulate economic development in the city of nearly 18,000 people.