Simpson County, MS – Law enforcement officials in Mississippi are currently investigating the shocking death of lawmaker Jessica Upshaw, a state legislator who was found dead at the home of a former colleague on Sunday afternoon.
Upshaw served District 95 in the Mississippi House of Representatives, which covered Hancock and Harrison Counties. She was a Republican lawmaker. She was 53-years-old.
The lawmaker was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound to her head. Police have not ruled out suicide at this point.
“It appeared she had a gunshot wound to her head; it appeared to be self inflicted,” said Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis. “Her body was found at 901 Mangum Street. We arrived on the scene around 2 p.m. this afternoon (Sunday). We usually assist Mendenhall P. D.,” Lewis added.
The house where Upshaw’s body was found is within the city limits of Mendenhall.
Sources told local news media that the house where Upshaw’s body was discovered belongs to former Mississippi State Representative Clint Rotenberry. He has not been arrested and did not return calls from the press. It is unclear whether or not he is considered a possible suspect.
Law enforcement authorities said that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist with the scene because Upshaw was a state representative. Officials are currently awaiting the results of the state’s crime lab to determine an official cause of death.
“I have known Jessica for many years as an unselfish and dedicated public servant,” said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. “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.”
Upshaw has worked in the Mississippi state legislature since 2004. This is still a breaking story, and we will update it as more information comes out.