Body of missing legislative intern Ryan Uhre located in Tallahassee
For the past two weeks, the mystery of missing 23-year-old Ryan Uhre – an FSU graduate interning for Rep. Richard Stark, D-Weston – has been a horrifying guessing game. He disappeared under mildly conspicuous circumstances after last being seen at Andrew’s Capital Grill & Bar in Tallahassee, right next to the state Capitol. Today, police have announced that his body has been recovered in Tallahassee (family members were hopeful that he may have disappeared to South Florida). Here’s the quick update from the Sun-Sentinel.
Tallahassee police were recanvassing the downtown area Tuesday morning when they found Uhre’s body inside the building, police spokesman Dave Northway told the Tallahassee Democrat.
“We have no suspicion of foul play at this point,” Northway said. “But we are keeping it open and active, and we will do everything we can in order to find the cause of death for Mr. Uhre.”
Uhre had disappeared Feb. 2, Super Bowl Sunday, at Andrew’s Capital Grill and Bar in Tallahassee. He was reported missing Feb. 7.
Uhre’s family for weeks circulated fliers and canvassed areas across South Florida, appealing for information about Uhre’s location.
There also was a strong outpouring of community support. Sunday, several hundred people gathered in Fort Lauderdale beach, bringing in prayers that Uhre would be found.
Uhre, 23, graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School and attended St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Davie.
He was an intern for state Rep. Richard Stark, D- Weston, who issued a statement Tuesday afternoon. “Ryan’s family, friends and coworkers are in our thoughts and prayers in this time of grief,” he said.
He said he “encourage you all to keep Ryan’s family in your prayers.”
The media initially did not report the fact that Uhre is gay, a point South Florida Gay News publisher Norm Kent thinks could be crucial in solving the case. “He came out to his gay high school teacher a few years ago,” Kent wrote in an editorial, adding that Uhre’s father refused to discuss his son’s disappearance with the gay media:
Every news story is painfully short of facts, beyond that he was seen leaving Andrew’s Capital Grille and then a convenience store, in Tallahassee, alone. And no one is using the ‘gay word,’ which is sheer stupidity. It is the clue that could help us find him, or at the very least, give us a place to look.
Tragically, even his own father, traumatized by his son’s disappearance, won’t discuss his son’s sexuality. Three times on Tuesday, he hung up on me, stating that a discussion of this sort “won’t help anything.” Yes, it might, dad. Unfortunately, pained though you are, this lead could very well help open up hidden doors. Young gay men and women have been hiding behind them for too long.
Kent more or less hints that because Uhre was not “openly gay” to everyone he knew, he could possibly be the victim of the type of crime police are not currently looking into, whether it be a hate crime, gay abduction, etc.
And here is the full statement we just received from Stark’s office. Very sad.
Statement from Rep. Richard Stark
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Rep. Richard Stark (D-Weston) issued the following statement:
“Today, I am deeply saddened and truly shocked by the news that law enforcement in Tallahassee have announced that they have found the body of my legislative intern Ryan Uhre, who had missing since February 2.
“A few minutes ago, I attempted to reach out to Ryan’s family to express my condolences. Ryan’s family, friends and coworkers are in our thoughts and prayers in this time of grief.
“I have no further information or comment about the circumstances. I encourage you all to keep Ryan’s family in your prayers.”