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Former mayoral candidate dead of apparent suicide

photo courtesy of stockunlimited.com

Mariner Durant, 23, a former Libertarian candidate for mayor of Meridian, was found dead in the woods in Lauderdale County Monday afternoon.

Coroner Clayton Cobler confirmed the death.

“He was found in the woods, left a note,” said Cobler. “We’re 95 percent sure he shot himself.”

Cobler said there was a disturbing scene at Durant’s home, where officials searched for clues.

“They’ve called in MBI, Homeland Security, the bomb squad and everything else because this guy had bulletproof vests, flamethrowers, a pressure cooker with all kinds of shrapnel in it,” said Cobler.

According to Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Warren Strain, MBI is assisting Meridian Police with the investigation.

Mariner’s Facebook page revealed more about his political involvement. He was a chairman of the libertarian party, active in local politics, and supportive of other candidates.

On May 21, Mariner openly supported Ron Morris, a candidate for ward 5 alderman. He posted that Morris stood a real chance of winning, which would have made him the first elected libertarian in the state.

Mariner’s final post was on June 4, saying “thanks for everything guys and gals!” On that post, friends and family have been sharing their condolences.

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