No Hate Crime Investigation For Slain Gay Candidate

The family of Marco McMillian, the openly gay up and coming Mississippi mayoral candidate whose beaten and burned body was found near the Mississippi River last week, is asking authorities to looking further into his murder. McMillian's family said they want the murder investigated as a hate crime, but the Coahoma County Sheriff's Department said they would not explore the option. According to McMillian's godfather, the department has also been mum with the media and the family about the circumstances of his death.

“He was very concerned about his safety—people had tried to talk him out of the race,” Womack said to the paper. “The family feels this ought to be investigated a hate crime.”

His body was recovered a day after his SUV was involved in a head-on collision. McMillian was not in the car at the time of the accident, as investigators believe he had already been dead, and his body had been dumped several hours prior. The man driving the SUV was Lawrence Reed, 22, who was arrested in connection to McMillian's death. Reed was initially airlifted to a Memphis hospital, but is now being held at the Shelby County Jail in Memphis.

Mississippi's hate crime laws currently cover religion, race and gender, but not sexual orientation.