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Former State Representative Dan Forestal found dead in hotel room

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Posted at 6:01 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 18:49:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Indiana State Representative Dan Forestal was found dead Wednesday night in a hotel room in Indianapolis, according to police and the coroner's office.

He was found dead around 9:40 p.m. Wednesday after officers were called for a welfare check at the Quality Inn at 9251 Wesleyan Road, according to a case report from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The cause of death is pending toxicology results, according to the Marion County Coroner's Office.

Forestal was also a former Indianapolis Fire Department firefighter.

He resigned as a state representative in June 2020 saying it was "long overdue" for him to focus on his mental health.

"We need to work together to shatter the stigma around mental health issues in the State of Indiana and address them with the same treatment and philosophy as physical health issues," he said in a statement last year. "Hoosiers should not have to live in fear of having their struggles with mental health be exposed and have attached to them the negative stigma that comes with suffering from mental health issues."

Forestal was the nephew of Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal.

Reactions from local and state leaders

Local and state leaders have released statements. You can read them below.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb

Former State Representative Dan Forestal proudly served his constituents as a legislator and as an Indianapolis firefighter. He led with conviction and intention and was passionate on his mission to serve Hoosiers. Janet and I offer his loved ones our condolences and hope that they find peace and comfort in the coming days.

Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne)

I was devastated to hear the news of former Representative Forestal's passing. He was a great legislator and dedicated public servant who accomplished great things for his community during his time at the Statehouse.

From his legislation addressing urban blight in Indiana neighborhoods to serving as the leading voice for House Democrats on transportation issues, Forestal worked hard for Hoosiers across the state. He will be remembered for his dedication to making Indiana a better place to work and raise a family.

His friendship will be missed by many and my thoughts are with his loved ones during this time.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

Dan Forestal was a strong advocate for the Indianapolis community, through his service with the Indianapolis Fire Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Indiana State House of Representatives. Steph and I send our thoughts to the Forestal family as they remember their loved one.