Family: Slain mayoral candidate was beaten, burned

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JACKSON, Miss. -- The body of a slain mayoral candidate was beaten and burned, a family member said yesterday.

Marco McMillian's godfather, Carter Womack, said McMillian's family received the information from the Coahoma County coroner. Coroner Scotty Meredith declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the Coahoma County Sheriff's Department.

But a person with direct knowledge of the investigation confirmed to The Associated Press that McMillian had bruises and there were burns on at least one area of his body. The person wasn't authorized to publicly comment and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The cause of death has not been disclosed. An autopsy was performed, but toxicology tests are pending, and authorities say it could take two weeks to get those results.

Womack said the coroner told family members that someone dragged McMillian's body under a fence and left it near a Mississippi River levee last week.

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McMillian, 34, was a candidate for mayor of Clarksdale in the Mississippi Delta.

The slaying received significant attention, in part, because McMillian's campaign said he was the first openly- gay, viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.

Last week, sheriff's deputies charged 22-year-old Lawrence Reed with murder in the case. -- AP

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