By: KMOV.com staff & Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. (KMOV.com) – Robert “Spence” Jackson, the media director for former Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich, was found dead at his home overnight.
Jackson was found dead Sunday evening at his home in Jefferson City, where he lived alone, after police responded to a well-being check, the Jefferson City Police Department said in a written statement. Police said they are investigating the case as a suicide.
Police said they believe Jackson died Friday evening or early Saturday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Jackson's mother called police on Sunday and asked them to check on her son after she was unable to reach him.
In a press conference Monday morning, police said Jackson left a note before his suicide. Jefferson City Police spokesman Capt. Doug Shoemaker declined to disclose what the note said.
Jackson's death comes about a month after Schweich committed suicide inside his Clayton home. Jackson had remained as the office spokesman after Schweich's death.
Jackson was Schweich's media director for four years. He also held several key republican jobs in state government.
The 44-year-old Jackson also previously served as the spokesman for former Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt.
Blunt issued a written statement Monday saying he was saddened to learn of his friend's death.
“Spence was a gifted communicator who dedicated his talents in public affairs to public service,” Blunt said. “Spence was hard-working, well-liked and quick-witted.”
Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party, Jonathan Prouty, released a statement following Jackson's death.
“Spence was an aggressive and successful communicator who spent years effectively advancing the Republican cause and the conservative agenda. We are saddened by his tragic death, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family. He will be missed.”
Police said they responded to a call to Jackson's apartment a little after 7 p.m. Sunday after one of Jackson's family members said he had been unresponsive to phone calls.
A property manager provided a key to police officers, who found Jackson dead in his bedroom from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police. Police said there was no physical evidence of a forced entry or struggle, but that an autopsy is planned for Monday and detectives are continuing to investigate the case.