The mayor of Hyattsville, Maryland, which is located just outside of Washington, DC, is dead at the age of 44. Police are calling his death a "suicide," but MTO News spoke with a family member and a friend who think that the death deserves further investigation.
“It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved Hyattsville Mayor Kevin Ward passed away yesterday, January 25, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” a post on the official website for Hyattsville said on Wednesday. “Mayor Ward was a valued and trusted leader and a fierce advocate for all the people of Hyattsville. We are heartbroken at this loss and extend our deepest sympathy to his family.”
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Kevin was openly gay - he was married to a man, and had two teenage sons.
Kevin also served as city council president in Hyattsville, located just north of the border between Maryland and the District of Columbia, and became mayor at the end of 2020 when then-Mayor Candace Hollingsworth stepped down. Ward, a Democrat, then won the mayoral election in May 2021.
Ward’s body was found by United States Park Police officers in Fort Marcy, a park in McLean, Virginia. That's the same park, MTO News confirmed, that police found dead White House counsel Vince Foster at - with a self inflicted gunshot wound.
Fort Marcy Park is popular among gay men, who often go there to look for discreet sexual hookups, MTO News has learned. It's not clear why Mayor Kevin was in the park.
One of Mayor Kevin's extended family reached out to MTO News and told us, "Please, they need to look into this. [Mayor Kevin] would not have committed suicide. This could be a murder."
“I am a pretty straightforward person,” Mayor Kevin’s campaign website reads. “I believe in listening more than talking. But when I talk, I am not one to mince words or tell people what they want to hear. I believe in doing the work. I believe that if I can help someone, then I can change her or his life. This is why I dedicated my career to providing the best technology to education and human services, to help as many as I can.”