A Kentucky lawmaker accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 2013 killed himself Wednesday, officials say, a day after he denied the allegations.
Republican state Rep. Dan Johnson was found dead of a single gunshot wound near Mount Washington, Bullitt County Coroner Dave Billings said.
Johnson drove onto a bridge in a rural area southeast of Louisville, parked and shot himself in front of his car, Sheriff Donnie Tinnell told CNN affiliate WDRB.
Billings ruled Johnson’s death a suicide on Thursday after an autopsy, Deputy Coroner Clayton Brunson said.
Shortly before his death, Johnson posted a rambling message on social media, denying the sexual assault allegations and urging his family to stay strong for his wife.
Relatives became concerned after seeing the post and reached out to law enforcement, who pinged Johnson’s phone and later discovered his body, according to Billings.
Billings said he was called to the scene around 7:30 p.m. Authorities discovered Johnson’s body in front of his truck and a 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun nearby, he said.
CNN has reached out to the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office and the Kentucky governor’s office but has not heard back.
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SOURCE: CNN, Darran Simon and Faith Karimi