Mark Middleton, a former special advisor to President Bill Clinton who had ties to billionaire convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was found on May 7 hanging from a tree with a shotgun blast to the chest. His death has been ruled a suicide, and his family has petitioned a judge to prevent photos from the scene of his death from being released to the public.
Middleton was found at a ranch in Perry County, Arkansas. Authorities investigating Middleton’s death did not immediately reveal the cause, but in an interview with Radar Online last month, Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery said Middleton was found hanging from a tree by an extension cord, with what he described as a “self-inflicted” shotgun wound to the chest.
“He died from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the chest,” Montgomery told Radar Online. “He found a tree and he pulled a table over there, and he got on that table, and he took an extension cord and put it around a limb, put it around his neck and he shot himself in the chest with a shotgun.”
The 59-year-old Middleton reportedly trespassed onto the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas, where he died.
“I don’t know the man, and I don’t why he picked our county or picked that location to commit suicide,” Montgomery told Radar Online. “To our knowledge, he had never been there before, and we have no record of him being there before.”
Montgomery said that Middleton’s family told authorities he had been depressed, but that Middleton did not leave a suicide note.
Radar Online and the Daily Mail both reported this week that Middleton’s family had filed a petition requesting photos of the scene of his death be sealed and barred from being disclosed to the public.
The family’s court filing stated “Since Mr. Middleton’s death, Mr. Middleton’s family has been harassed by outlandish, hurtful, unsupported and offensive online articles regarding Mr. Middleton, his death and his family. These articles are scurrilous, baseless and malicious.”
Radar Online subsequently reported the investigation into Middleton’s death had been reopened.
In a phone call on Tuesday, a representative for the Perry County Sheriff’s Office told American Military News that Middleton’s death was under active investigation.
Middleton had served as a special advisor to President Clinton during the 1990s. In 1996, the Washington Post reported Middleton, who had by that point left the White House, was caught up in allegations of improper fundraising for the Democratic National Committee during Clinton’s 1996 reelection, though Middleton denied any wrongdoing. On Nov. 16, 1996, the Los Angeles Times reported White House officials investigated Middleton and found he had abused his access at the White House and would be barred from future access to the executive mansion.
Last year, the Daily Mail reported it learned through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that Epstein visited the Clinton White House at least 17 times. The Daily Mail reported Middleton admitted Epstein into the White House on seven of those 17 known visits.
According to an obituary posted on a Saline County news page My Saline.com, Middleton had served on the board of directors of CHI St. Vincent Foundation, an Arkansas cancer treatment center called CARTI and an Arkansas bank called Arvest. Middleton also served on the board of advisors for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Foundation Fund, Fifty For The Future, American Association of Air Conditioning Contractors, Arkansas General Contractors Associations, and Young Presidents Organization.