Ga. police chief found dead after citywide search, car crash

Colquitt Police Chief Kenneth Kirkland died of a possible heart attack after moving heavy equipment for the department, officials said

By Suzie Ziegler 

COLQUITT, Ga. — A Georgia police chief was found dead Wednesday, possibly of a heart attack, according to WALB. 

Colquitt Police Chief Kenneth Kirkland, 51, was reported missing when he failed to show up at a church function where he was scheduled to speak, initiating a citywide search. Police said they tracked Kirkland’s phone, which led them to a vehicle that had run off the road. An autopsy revealed that Kirkland died of natural causes, according to the report. 

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Kirkland had recently moved several pieces of heavy equipment into a police department pickup truck. He was driving the vehicle to a landfill when he suffered the apparent heart attack. 

Kirkland was a 30-year veteran and had served with the Colquitt Police Department for 20 years. He became chief in May 2020, according to WALB. 

He is survived by his wife and two stepsons.