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Mayoral Candidate & Former Pigtown Volunteer Found Dead By Mississippi River

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Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A death investigation in Mississippi hits home for some people in Baltimore. The victim was an integral part of the Pigtown community.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on disturbing details about the death of a Mississippi mayoral candidate.

It’s a homicide investigation that stunned the small county in Sherard, Miss., and reached the hearts of some hundreds of miles away in the Pigtown community of Baltimore.

“It’s a really tragic and untimely passing,” said Ben Hyman.

Ben Hyman is the executive director of Pigtown Main Street, a nonprofit organization where the victim–Marco McMillian–served as president for two years.

“He was very active in Pigtown and made a big difference here so we want to just reach out and express our deepest condolences,” Hyman said.

McMillian had an impressive resume, serving as the executive chief of staff to the president of Alabama A&M University and running for mayor in Clarksdale, Miss. at the time his body was found by the Mississippi River.

Authorities in Mississippi say the suspect in McMillian’s death was found driving the victim’s car he later wrecked.

“At this time, the sheriff’s office does have a person of interest in custody,” an officer said.

Police have charged Lawrence Reed with McMillian’s murder after he told them where McMillian’s body could be found behind the Mississippi levee.

McMillian was very active in the Pigtown community and many expressed their condolences online.

One person writes, “He was such a good citizen. Thank you sir for helping out in Pigtown.”

Investigators in Mississippi do not believe politics played a factor in McMillian’s death. He was the first openly gay candidate to run in the state. Authorities have not said if that has anything to do with his murder.

McMillian would have been one of four Democrats running for the May 7 primary.

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