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.
The Annee family sends our deepest condolences to the entire Forestal family, upon the passing of former State Representative Dan Forestal.— Councillor Paul M. Annee (@TeamAnnee) July 15, 2021
It’s never easy to say goodbye to a friend, let alone one so young. Your warm, welcoming smile and your desire to create a better world will forever be missed. Dan, I hope you can find peace and rest.— Councillor Ali Brown (@aliforindy) July 15, 2021
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.
If you called, Dan answered. If you needed help with something, he’d be there (even just to move a couch). And even in the midst of his struggles, he offered encouragement, challenged you earnestly, and let you know he had your back. I will miss you beyond measure, brother. pic.twitter.com/7xLUisfF2y— Blake Johnson (@IndyBlakeJ) July 15, 2021