Jessica Upshaw death: Mississippi Republican Rep found shot dead at former state Rep Clint Rotenberry home
Mississippi authorities are investigating the death of State Representative Jessica Upshaw, who was found dead in a suspected suicide at the home of former lawmaker Clint Rotenberry, according to local officials.
The death of Republican Rep Jessica Upshaw, 53, of the 95th District in Diamondhead, was confirmed by Simpson County Coroner Terry Tutor.
The cause of her death is believed to be suicide.
Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis told WLOX that Jessica Upshaw appeared to have shot herself in the head at a home in Mendenhall, located about 30 miles southeast of Jackson, the state capital.
The home is owned by former state Rep Clint Rotenberry, according to The Clarion-Ledger newspaper.
The investigation has been handed over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.
No one has been arrested in the case.
Jessica Upshaw was an attorney who was first elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 2004.
She was a Republican from Diamondhead along the state’s coast. Mendenhall is about 110 miles away from her hometown.
Jessica Upshaw was not married, but did have an adult daughter who is married with a child of her own and lives in South Korea, according to the Clarion-Ledger.
Clint Rotenberry, also a Republican, served in the 77th district as a state representative from 1992 to 2007.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant told the paper: “[My wife] Deborah and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Rep Jessica Upshaw. I have known Jessica for many years as an unselfish and dedicated public servant.
“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.”
Jessica Upshaw is the fifth Mississippi lawmaker in to die in the last few months.
Joe Gardner of Batesville, died last month of a heart attack at the age of 68. Democratic Rep. David Gibbs, of West Point, died January 13.
Two Democratic state senators, Bennie Turner, of West Point, and Alice Harden, of Jackson, died in late 2012.
Clint Rotenberry did not answer his phone, and his answering machine was full.
House Minority Leader Bobby Moak describes Jessica Upshaw as a passionate champion of causes for her district and the state.