WASHINGTON (WJZ) — After days of police and family pleading for help in their search, Joseph Kitchen was found dead at home, leaving his family with questions and little answers.
Kitchen served as the president of the Young Democrats of Maryland. The 34-year-old went missing August 8, last seen alive at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis.
“We haven’t heard from him since,” his brother LJay Ramirez said.
His disappearance led to a frantic search in Maryland and D.C. before his body was found Sunday.
His brother put out an emotional plea for help on Saturday.
“Keep trying to find him…it’s not like my brother to just disappear,” Ramirez said.
Last month, Joseph posted to social media, “I’ve been struggling..” and “I’m not ok…,” describing the anxiety he was feeling from not being able to see his students. He was a teacher at the Washington School for Girls.
With news of his death, the school shared on Facebook, “Our hearts are heavy.”
When he wasn’t teaching, Joseph was leading the Young Democrats of Maryland.
“He was the truest Democrat I ever knew, he loved the party,” Del. Wanika Fisher, a Democrat in Prince George’s County, said.
Young Democrats is a group open to registered Democrats under 36 years old. It was there Joseph worked alongside politicians throughout the state.
“Joseph Kitchen was a powerhouse,” said Eva Lewis.
“…one of the best political minds!” Fisher said.
“Every battle that was in front of me, it was Joseph who was on my side,” Sen. Cory McCray, a Democratic senator for Baltimore City, said.
“He rolled up his sleeves and he worked,” said Montgomery County State Delegate Jheanelle Wilkons.
“Always a strong champion for Maryland’s young Democrats,” Baltimore County State Delegate Sheila Ruth said.
“Joseph was doing the right thing for the right reasons,” Ben Smith with the Maryland Democratic Party said.
“Rest in power Joseph,” Ruth said.
“Rest in power, my friend, Joseph Kitchen,” McCray said.
Now, the family is looking for answers as they and so many others grieve.
“Rest easy Joseph, we got it from here and just know that we will always love you,” Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott said.
The Metro Police in DC is leading the investigation into Joseph’s death.