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article imageMississippi town’s first openly gay mayoral candidate murdered

By Greta McClain     Mar 1, 2013 in Crime
Clarksdale - Mississippi law enforcement officials have a man in custody, charged in connection with the murder of one of the state's first openly gay mayoral candidate.
Police began searching for 34-year-old Marco McMillan, an openly-gay candidate for the Clarksdale Mayor's office, after his vehicle was involved in a traffic accident on U.S. Highway 49 near the Coahoma and Tallahatchie county lines Tuesday. Lawrence Reed, 22-years-old, was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident, but McMillan was no where to be found. According to WREG, Reed told investigators that McMillen was dead and his body could be found behind a, isolated Mississippi River levee.
On Thursday, investigators found the body of McMillan behind a levee approximately 30 miles from where the accident occurred. Officials with the Coahoma County Sheriff's Office told WPTW that McMillen had been strangled to death.
Sources within the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department told The Clarksdale Press Register Reed is in custody and will be charged in connection with McMillen's murder.
McMillan was well known in the community. He was the CEO of MWM & Associates, a consulting company for non-profit organizations. He was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Prestige Award from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund in 2009 and was named Mississippi Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40" according to a campaign press release. His campaign manager, Jarod Keith, said McMillan's campaign was unique because he was one of the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.
McMillan's murder has shocked the small community, with Tamara Moore, a childhood friend of McMillan, saying:
"He was such, such a beautiful person. I mean he did not deserve it. He really didn't. He was so humble, he really, he cared about the community, he cared about the people here, and it is just an unfortunate situation."
Until 2012, McMillan had been working in Washington D.C., but decided to return to his hometown to try and make a difference in his community. Moore stated:
"If Marco set out to do something, he was going to do it. I saw him, he was always the same, a good spirit, just a really good person. He wanted to come back to his hometown, and make a difference here. And I think he would have done that."
More about Election, Candidate, Mayoral candidate, Mayor, Gay
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