Delvonn Heckard—the man who sued Ed Murray of child rape from decades earlier, uncovering a string of other allegations against the former Seattle mayor—was found dead early Friday from an apparent drug overdose.
The Seattle Times reported that the King County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Heckard, 47, died after police and medics responded to the call at about 2:05am Friday morning at the Auburn Motel, on Auburn Way South.
Heckard, who initially remained anonymous, sued Murray in April alleging the mayor sexually abused him starting when Heckard was 15 years old, in 1984. His accusation brought to light two other accusers who reached out to The Seattle Times in 2008, then two more men who came forward as the case unraveled in the months that followed.
Heckard's attorney, Lincoln Beauregard, called Heckard a hero.
The lawsuit led to Murray ending his bid for re-election a month later. The Seattle Times in July reported records from Oregon that showed a Child Protective Services caseworker found allegations from Murray's foster son valid and barred Murray from being a foster parent again.
But it wasn't until a fifth accuser, Murray's cousin, came forward that he resigned from the city's executive role in September. Murray continues to deny the allegations.
"At least the public knows that everything I was saying was the truth, right?" Heckard told The Seattle Times when the allegations eventually led to Murray's resignation in September. "I'm not just some crackhead, some criminal, some street kid, I was telling the truth. And really, it's not about him being mayor or not being mayor, it's never been about his position and his job."
Heckard dropped the initial lawsuit, then refiled it again in October including the city as a defendant. The city settled the case for $150,000 in December.