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Gay Mississippi mayoral candidate’s family says he was ‘beaten, dragged and burned’ during murder

Gay Mississippi mayoral candidate’s family says he was ‘beaten, dragged and burned’ during murder

The family of Marco McMillian, a gay mayoral candidate in Mississippi, is sharing some of the details they have learned about his murder.

McMillian’s body was found last week near a river levee in the Mississippi Delta. A 22-year-old man named Lawrence Reed had crashed McMillian’s car in a separate location a day before the body was found. He has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

McMillian, 34, was running for mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi.

‘We know that Marco was brutally murdered. His body was found on Wednesday, February 26, 2013, beaten, dragged and burned (set afire),’ his family said in an email published in the Commercial Appeal. ‘This was reported in our meeting with the local coroner on two occasions. We were informed that the official autopsy report could take two to four weeks to complete.’

The family added: ‘We feel that this was not a random act of violence based on the condition of the body when it was found. Marco, nor anyone, should have their lives end in this manner.’

McMillian’s family also said that before his death, the murder victim had expressed some concern for his safety.

They are requesting a ‘full and thorough’ investigation into his murder and felt it was important to share what they know ‘to dispel speculations surrounding his death.’

Reed was hospitalized after the crash involving McMillian’s car but has since been released. He made his first court appearance earlier today.