Mississippi State Rep. Jessica Upshaw found dead on Sunday from an apparent suicide.
According to Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis the 53-year-old Diamondhead Republican died from a gunshot wound to the head. “It appeared to be self-inflicted,” Lewis told WLBT-TV.
Upshaw’s body was found in the home of former colleague state Rep. Clint Rotenberry in Mendenhall, Mississippi.
Rotenberry and Upshaw, both single and divorced for a number of years, had been in a relationship, a friend said.
Describing Upshaw as a fighter, the friend said she had been aggressively battling the depression.
“I have known Jessica for many years as an unselfish and dedicated public servant,” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said in a Sunday statement. “This is a tragic loss for her family and all Mississippians, and our thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this difficult time.”
Simpson County Coroner Terry Tutor said she died of a single gunshot wound to the head. However, he didn’t elaborate about whether it was suicide or not.
Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn described Upshaw as “an outstanding legislator and friend” and said “our hearts break for her family. She was one of the brightest and most competent members of the House.”