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Gun WAS found near body of former Clinton aide, new report says
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Gun WAS found near body of former Clinton aide, new report says

Warning: Disturbing content.

More details have emerged regarding the suicide of a former aide to President Bill Clinton, quelling some doubts about whether he actually took his own life.

The initial report of the investigation, which was recently released, determined that Mark Middleton, a 59-year-old former Clinton aide, died by suicide in Perryville, Arkansas, last May. Middleton's body was found sitting near a tree. He had an extension cord wrapped around his neck and a gunshot wound in his chest. He had been deceased for some time when he was discovered.

Despite several indications of suicide, some people still doubted that Middleton had killed himself for one main reason: The report made no mention of a gun anywhere near Middleton's body. In fact, the report — written by Perry County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy Lawson, who processed the scene —specifically stated that "three boxes of 12GA buckshot" were found in the trunk of Middleton's abandoned SUV "but no weapon." The glaring omission prompted many media outlets, including TheBlaze, to report that the suicide weapon had not been recovered.

However, additional "papers" released to the Daily Mail indicate that a weapon was located near the body after all. In these papers, Sergeant Keenan Carter of the Perry County Sheriff's Office explained that a Stoeger 12-gauge coach gun was found approximately 30 feet from Middleton's body.

Carter and his colleagues in law enforcement believe that on May 7, 2022, Middleton arrived at the Heifer Ranch, about 30 miles from his home in Little Rock, with the intention of killing himself. He found a spot overlooking a valley, dragged a bench to a nearby tree, and wrapped one end of an extension cord around a branch and the other end around his neck. He even sent a heartbreaking text message to his wife, Rhea, around 9:30 that morning: "Going to rest for a while. You are a great Mom and wife babe. Please be happy today and get some sun. It will make you feel better. I love you."

At some point after Middleton sent the message, he allegedly stood atop the bench, positioned the gun so that the barrel was pointed at his chest, and pulled the trigger with his left index finger. The blast caused the extension cord to tighten around his neck like a noose. It also caused the gun to fall far from the body "due to the recoil from the discharge and the height and angle of the ground," Carter wrote in the report.

The limited amount of blood found on Middleton's body indicated that he died almost instantly. He was discovered about two hours after he messaged his wife. Police stated that there were no signs of foul play, and Coroner Theodore Brown ruled his death a suicide caused by "Contact Shotgun Wound of Chest and Hanging."

Middleton worked as a special assistant to Clinton during the early 1990s. During his time at the White House, Middleton gave entrance to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein on seven of his at least 17 visits there. According to flight logs, Middleton also rode on Epstein's infamous "Lolita Express" plane, which transported several high-profile figures to an island where many then sexually assaulted underage girls.

Middleton left the Clinton White House in 1995, and afterward, suspicions began to swirl that he had abused his powerful position to impress business associates. Middleton denied those accusations. He eventually returned to Little Rock, Arkansas, and joined his family's HVAC business.

In addition to his wife, Middleton left behind two daughters: Lindsay, 18, and Lauren, 20. His family reported that Middleton had struggled with depression before his death.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News. She has a Ph.D. in Shakespearean drama, but now enjoys writing about religion, sports, and local criminal investigations. She loves God, her husband, and all things Michigan State.
@cortneyweil →