MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - One year and nine months after Libertarian candidate for mayor, Mariner Durant, was found shot to death. The Medical Examiner's office is officially ruling the death as a suicide.
A statement released by District Attorney Kassie Coleman indicates the case, which was being handled by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, will be closed.
It was June 5, 2017, when Durant was found dead in the woods behind his home on 14th Avenue and 57th Court.
Police said a search of Durant’s home turned up bomb-making materials, bulletproof vests and ammunition. The ATF assisted MBI during the search of the residence and subsequent destruction of items found in the home. It’s never been revealed why Durant might have had these items.
Durant was running in the Meridian mayoral race as a Libertarian candidate. He was also the Chairman of the party for Lauderdale County. He announced his bid for Meridian’s top spot in February of 2017 expressing confidence and optimism. He discussed bringing in business and driving people away from a life of crime.
“The more third party and independent candidates get elected, the division will begin to fade away and we'll all start to look at ourselves as Americans again," Durant told Newscenter 11 while making his announcement to run for mayor.
Just prior to the election, and without elaborating, Durant expressed concern for his safety and dropped out of the race.
District Attorney Kassie Coleman released the following statement about the case:
“The death of Mariner Durant was investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. The Mississippi State Medical Examiner’s Office has completed the final autopsy report and ruled Mr. Durant’s death a suicide. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation found no evidence to contradict the Medical Examiner’s ruling of suicide. I have spoken with Mr. Durant’s father and mother, and they have requested that the investigation be closed without any further action. Based on the ruling of the Medical Examiner, the investigative report from the MBI, and the family’s request, this investigation will be closed.”