UPDATE: Oxford doctor, former candidate dead

OXFORD – A prominent eye surgeon and former congressional candidate died Friday evening, apparently by his own hand.

Deputies found the body of Dr. Randy H. Russell, 56, after deputies were dispatched to his rural home on King Bailey Road shortly after 7 p.m. Lafayette County Coroner Lonnie Weaver ruled the cause of death a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Russell was an ophthalmologist with Rayner Eye Clinic. He also ran in 2008 for the Republican nomination for Mississippi’s First District Congressional seat, placing third in the primary behind Greg Davis and Glenn McCullough.

Russell and his wife, Amy, have two grown children of their own, but they also served the Mississippi Department of Human Services for severals years as foster parents.

During that span they cared for more than 100 infants in need of a temporary home until the babies could be either adopted or returned to their birth families.

A Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said Russell’s body was sent to Jackson for autopsy.

NEMS Daily Journal