Joseph Kitchen

Missing Young Democrats of Maryland Leader Joseph Kitchen Found Dead

Young Democrats of Maryland President Joseph Kitchen had been missing for days, family members said

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A young Democrat leader was found dead in Washington, D.C., after family, friends and prominent Maryland politicians pleaded for information on his disappearance.

Joseph Kitchen, 34, was the president of the Young Democrats of Maryland. He was a "kind heart who impacted so many," the organization said.

Prince Geoge's County Police said that Kitchen's body was discovered on Sunday, one day after announcing a search for him. It's unclear how he died.

Kitchen was seen in-person at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis on Aug. 8 and during a Zoom meeting with colleagues the following Tuesday.

Kitchen's brother said his phone started going straight to voicemail and that he had not been active on social media, which was unusual.

The search for Kitchen intensified over the weekend. Kitchen's family said they had planned to come from California to help look for him. Maryland Democrats including Attorney General Brian Frosh asked on social media for information about his whereabouts.

The news of Kitchen's death drew an outpouring of support from local and state officials.

"I'm stunned," former gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous said. "He was such a good public servant and so young."

"In everything Joseph did, he advocated for young people," Maryland Del. Jazz Lewis, who represents Prince George's County, said. "He was fearless in calling out local, state, federal, and even party leadership if he felt young people weren't given a fair hand."

"I am terribly sad to learn of the loss of Joseph Kitchen," Rep. Jamie Raskin said. "This is a brutal time we inhabit and the loss of this wonderful young man will be another dreadful milestone in our age of bitter hardship."

Family members told News4 he was also the director of community outreach at the Washington School for Girls in Southeast D.C.

Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.

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