Autopsy: Mayor candidate died of lack of oxygen

By Holbrook Mohr/The Associated Press

JACKSON — An autopsy report says a Mississippi mayoral candidate died in February because of a lack of oxygen, but doesn’t pinpoint an exact reason beyond calling the death a homicide.

Clarkdale mayoral candidate Marco McMillian’s body was found dumped near a Mississippi River levee Feb. 27.

The autopsy report says the cause of death is “asphyxia by undetermined etiology.”

It says that multiple blows to the head consistent with a beating most likely contributed to his death.

The case got significant attention after McMillian’s campaign said he was the first viable, openly gay candidate for office in Mississippi. Because McMillian was gay and black, some speculated his death was a hate crime.

Lawrence Reed, who also is black, is charged with McMillian’s murder.

The report says Reed confessed to killing McMillian.