If you or someone you know are feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-8255. If you are an LGBTQ+ youth and need help, you can reach out to the Trevor Project at (866) 488-7386 or text 678678 to talk to someone 24/7.
The city of Hyattsville, Md., announced on Wednesday that the city's mayor, Kevin Ward, had died by suicide.
Ward, 44, was gay. He took office in 2020 after serving as the president of the Hyattsville City Council.
“Mayor Ward was a valued and trusted leader and a fierce advocate for all the people of Hyattsville. We are heartbroken at this loss and extend our deepest sympathy to his family,” the city said in a statement. “The City knows that Mayor Ward was a well-connected member of our tight-knit community and that this is difficult news.”
Local politicians offered condolences on Twitter. County Executive Angela Alsobrooks wrote on Twitter, “We are so heartbroken and devastated to learn of the passing of Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward.”
She added that he was an “outstanding leader” who “deeply loved” Hyattsville.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted, “We extend our most heartfelt condolences to the Ward family and the people of Hyattsville as they grieve this tragic loss.”
Ward’s body was discovered by police in Fort Marcy, which is a park in McLean, Va., outside Washington, D.C. It’s the same park where police found the body of former Clinton White House counsel Vince Foster, who died by suicide in July of 1993. The park is known as a gay cruising area, according to MTO News.
A member of Ward’s extended family told the outlet that they believed Ward wouldn’t have killed himself. “Please, they need to look into this. [Mayor Kevin] would not have committed suicide. This could be a murder,” they said.
Ward leaves behind a husband and two teenage sons.
If you or someone you know are feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-8255.