Follow-up to: Politician found with gunshot to her head -- CBS: "Does not appear to be a natural death" -- Was directing BP oil spill fine money -- 5th Mississippi lawmaker to die in recent months (VIDEO)
The Clarion-Ledger: In the last five months, five lawmakers have died. The latest was Sunday, when state Rep. Jessica Upshaw, R-Diamondhead, was found dead at a residence in Simpson County of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. “I have been legislator for 26 years, and I can’t remember in my first 20 years, five people (legislators) dying while in office,” said state Rep. Bill Denny, R-Jackson. “It’s astounding. We have lost some of our best people.” [...]
The Sun Herald: Upshaw was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to be a part of the board tasked with planning how to spend billions in RESTORE Act fines BP will pay as a result of the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
AP: [... She] gave no indication in recent days that she was contemplating taking her own life, according to a former lawmaker who was with the woman the day she died. [...] [Former Mississippi State Rep. Clint] Rotenberry fought back tears at times, but also managed a smile while talking about the good times the two had shared. [...] Rotenberry said he and Upshaw had spent the weekend together, first going to her house on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where they enjoyed a leisurely drive along the beach. “It was such a beautiful, relaxing day,” he recalled. They returned to his house Saturday. He said the two woke up Sunday morning and she checked her email and then they watched part of a romantic comedy. Rotenberry said he took a shower, but Upshaw wasn’t in the house when he got out. He found Upshaw’s body in his garage near the open door of her car. [...] Chief McCullum said authorities received a 911 call about 1:20 p.m. to report a suicide at the house [...]
The Sun Herald: There’s been no official ruling on her death, but Mendenhall Police Chief Candy McCullum told the Associated Press it appears a wound from a .40 caliber pistol was self-inflicted. Upshaw, 53, of Diamondhead, was found on the concrete near the garage of former state Rep. Clint Rotenberry’s home. Simpson County law enforcement officials didn’t return calls from the Sun Herald on Monday. No charges have been filed in the case.
Rotenberry: “She had this disease. It’s called depression. It was a fight just like you would fight cancer. The passion she fought with for the people she represented, she carried that same passion in her fight with depression. She only knew how to give 110 percent.”
NBC 14: “Rotenberry broke up and became incoherent.”
Published: March 26th, 2013 at 12:28 pm ET