By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com February 27 2013 4:17 PM ET
Coahoma County, Miss., coroner Scotty Meredith reported today that investigators believe they have located the body of gay Clarksdale mayoral candidate Marco McMillian. According to the Jackson Clarion Ledger, a body was found near the Mississippi River, and though the identification hasn't officially been confirmed, Meredith told reporter Emily La Coz that McMillian “is the only person we have missing.”
McMillian, CEO of MWM & Associates — a consulting firm that works with nonprofit organizations — had been missing since Tuesday morning. ABC 24 News reported that inside sources say McMillian, who until his death was in a bid to become mayor of Clarksdale, gave a ride to someone who ended up killing him, dumping his body along a river levee west of the city, and stole his SUV.
It was, in fact, it was a head on collision with McMillian's SUV that led investigators to search for the candidate. His vehicle was found around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday near the Coahoma County-Tallahatchie County line, reports Jackie Orozco, and when McMillian wasn't in it police began to search for him.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is now looking into the case. The Victory Fund tweeted its condolences, saying “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Marco McMillian, one of the 1st viable openly LGBT candidates in Mississippi.”
In fact, McMillian, who had served as international executive director of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and chief of staff to the president of Alabama A&M University, was apparently in a tight mayoral race.
One of his opponents, attorney Bill Luckett, offered his condolences, calling McMillian "a very articulate, clean-cut young man. It’s a bizarre and tragic situation that deeply saddened him.”
The last message McMillian posted on Facebook is a telling reminder of the young man's legacy. "If you must judge me, judge me not by who I have become, but rather judge me by the difference I attempt to make in the lives of other people."