More on the tragic news from Mississippi on the death of Marco McMillian, the 34-year-old openly gay fundraising executive who was running for mayor of Clarksdale. McMillian was described as "one of the 1st viable openly #LGBT candidates in Mississippi" by the Victory Fund, which helps elect openly LGBT candidates.
ABCNews.com produced a package on McMillian's death. Watch it AFTER THE JUMP ...
A "person of interest" has been detained after McMillian's body was discovered on the Mississippi River levee Wednesday morning. The death is being "investigated as a homicide." Friends and family across the Mississippi Delta and in Clarksdale are said to be "shocked" and "stunned" by the news, according to the Clarion Ledger.
Jarod Keith, McMillian's campaign spokesman, confirmed the candidate was openly gay but said it never came up during the campaign. Keith said he was in shock over the incident. McMillian had entered the highly contested mayoral race earlier this year, saying he wanted to combat crime and high unemployment. Politics likely wasn't a factor in McMillian's death, said Coahoma County Coroner Scotty Meredith.
McMillian was living in Memphis before returning to his hometown of Clarksdale several months ago to run for mayor. He graduated from Clarksdale High School in 1997, and his family still lives in the Delta city where he grew up.
Longtime friend Damon Ray called McMillian a mentor and the kind of person who would help anybody. "He always believed in helping," said Ray, an Indianapolis-based event planner. "He told me he wanted to do the same in Clarksdale, to help out with crime and unemployment."
McMillian's story demonstrates that things are not always what they appear. The successful and openly gay Black young man returned to his Mississippi Delta hometown to run for mayor. The city apparently welcomed him with open arms. Such a loss. Watch ABCNews.com's report on AFTER THE JUMP ...