A man who sued former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray over sexual abuse claims was found dead in a motel room early Friday.
Authorities discovered the body of Delvon R. Heckard, 47, who claimed Murray repeatedly paid him for sex when he was a teenager in the late 1980s, at the Auburn Motel in a Seattle suburb.
Auburn Assistant Police Chief Bill Pierson said police and fire medics were responding to an apparent drug overdose of a middle-aged black male, the Seattle Times reported. Medics failed to resuscitate the man, Pierson said.
Police found medication and drug paraphernalia the room.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Heckard’s death Friday. The cause and manner of the death is pending, the paper reported.
“A hero died today,” Heckard’s lawyer, Lincoln Beauregard, tweeted Friday.
In April, Heckard sued Murray, alleging that the then-mayor repeatedly paid him for sex in the late 1980s. Heckard was in recovery for addiction to cocaine and other drugs when he filed the lawsuit, but said it was his father’s death and his attempt at sobriety that prompted him to come forward.
Heckard dropped the lawsuit before refiling it after adding the city as a defendant, claiming it aided Murray to use his political power to defame Heckard and others. Heckard received $150,00 in a settlement with the city in December.
Two other men followed with similar accusations, claiming Murray abused them 1980s when they were teenagers in Portland, Ore.
A fourth man came forward after Murray denied the claims, alleging he was also paid to have sex with Murray as a teenager.
Murray’s resignation as Seattle’s mayor came after his cousin, Joseph Dyer, accused him of child sex abuse that occurred decades ago. Murray resigned in September while still in his first term.
Murray, 62, a Democrat who served in the state Legislature prior to being elected Seattle’s mayor in 2013, has denied all of the allegations.
Out of the five accusers, Heckard was the only one to take legal action to date.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.