CLARKSDALE, MS (abc24.com) - Investigators believe they know who killed a candidate for Mayor of Clarksdale, Mississippi.
The body of Marco McMillian was found Wednesday morning in an area where sources familiar with the investigation tell abc24.com Coahoma County Sheriff's deputies had been told to look.
Coahoma County deputies are focused on the man who crashed McMillian's SUV on Tuesday, someone McMillian knew. Sources say McMillian had been strangled.
Multiple reports identified the man as Lawrence Reed, 22, of Clarksdale.
"He was such, such a beautiful person. I mean he did not deserve it. He really didn't," said Tamara Moore, who grew up with McMillian.
"He was so humble, he really, he cared about the community, he cared about the people here, and it is just an unfortunate situation," she added.
On Wednesday night, Jarod Keith, McMillian's campaign manager, said to the best of his knowledge, Reed was not affiliated with McMillian's mayoral campaign.
"Words cannot describe our grief at the loss of our dear friend," Keith wrote in a statement.
Keith said McMillian was running as an openly gay candidate. Investigators have said politics didn't play a role in McMillian's murder.
On Wednesday, The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a political action group, tweeted, "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Marco McMillian, one of the 1st viable openly #LGBT candidates in Mississippi."
Up until last year, friends say McMillian was working in Washington, and returned to make a difference in his hometown.
"He wanted to come back to his hometown, and make a difference here. And I think he would have done that," Moore said.
"If Marco set out to do something, he was going to do it. He was such a humble person," Moore said. "I saw him, he was always the same, a good spirit, just a really good person."
McMillian's family declined to comment, still to upset to talk.