A leader of the Young Democrats of America’s Maryland chapter was reportedly found dead this week in Washington, D.C., after disappearing earlier this month, as reported by NBC News.
Joseph Kitchen, 34, was reported missing after he was last seen at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland, on Aug. 8.
“Tragic and untimely passing”
Few details were available regarding his disappearance and death, with further information unlikely to be made public until law enforcement officials conclude their ongoing investigation, according to reports.
In a statement confirming his death, the Young Democrats of America said the group was “saddened to learn of the tragic and untimely passing of Joseph Kitchen.”
The Democratic Party leader apparently had a good relationship within his community, with a number of local officials sharing their own memories.
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball described Kitchen as “dedicated and compassionate,” noting that he “advocated on behalf of our young people across Maryland.”
According to the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, an investigation into the cause of Kitchen’s death is ongoing and further details will be released at the conclusion of the probe.
“Unconscious and not breathing”
While there is no evidence pointing to foul play as of the most recent reports available, the circumstances surrounding his death are clearly unusual. Ten days after he was seen at the park, police say he was found “unconscious and not breathing” inside of his home.
Authorities reportedly arrived at his home in response to a call requesting a welfare check, at which time police assisted an agency already on the scene.
His family, which has asked for privacy in the wake of news regarding his death, thanked those in the community who have helped in the search since Kitchen’s disappearance.
“With a heavy heart, we are sad to say that Joseph Kitchen has passed,” tweeted the Maryland Democratic Party. “Joseph Kitchen was the President of the Young Democrats of Maryland. A kind heart that has impacted so many. Rest in peace, Joseph Kitchen.”
Regardless of the circumstances, this is a tragic loss for those who knew and loved Kitchen — and Americans of all political persuasions are joining in their expressions of sympathy.