DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - In life, State Representative Jessica Upshaw accomplished a lot of things. Some Diamondhead residents say it's no question she left a significant impact on the city.
Friends, family and colleagues of Upshaw are now in mourning after the representative's shocking death over the weekend. The 53-year-old lawmaker was found dead at a Mendenhall home Sunday from, what authorities believe to be, a self inflicted gunshot wound.
"It has come as quite a shock to us, as you can imagine," said Diamondhead Mayor Chuck Ingraham. "Jessica was always out there for us. She was always making sure that anything we may have needed was presented properly to the legislature."
The mayor said Upshaw worked diligently with the city to draw up the golf cart legislation recently passed. The local and private bill took three years to get passed, and allows Diamondhead citizens to drive their golf carts on public roads. So far, 530 people have registered their carts.
"Right now, we're the only city in Mississippi that has that privilege and I hope that we don't ruin it for others. Jessica has been very helpful to this community and we're deeply saddened by her loss. She was very helpful when it came to becoming a city. She's also been particularly helpful to the Property Owners Association in spear-heading work with the Department of Marine Resources and getting grants for them," Ingraham said.
The mayor said he'll never forget Jessica's passion and dedication for her community. It's something he believes everyone should hope to emulate.
"It is going to be a very significant void to us, Harrison and Hancock counties," Ingraham said.