Ramirez said no foul play is suspected. He said Kitchen, who worked as the director of outreach and volunteerism at the Washington School for Girls in Southeast Washington, told the school on Tuesday that he was feeling sick.
“What we want folks to remember is that Joseph was a big advocate for youth of color and that were in environments they could not control,” Ramirez said. “He worked his life fighting for a change when it came to youth in underserved areas. We want people to remember him for that.”
Ramirez said funeral arrangements will be announced by the family in the coming days.
Kitchen’s disappearance and his death sparked an outpouring of support among politicians in Maryland, who started the weekend calling for help locating Kitchen and ended it mourning his loss.
“In everything Joseph did, he advocated for young people,” state Del. Jazz M. Lewis (D-Prince George’s) wrote on Twitter. “He never had to be in the front but was always toiling in the background, thinking about what more we could do to give the next generation a real voice at the table.”
Del. Jheanelle K. Wilkins (D-Montgomery) thanked everyone for their efforts to find Kitchen. “Rest in peace, my dear friend,” she wrote. “I truly miss you.”
“I pray that the good that he accomplished on this side of the Jordan will be a public service legacy that we all may emulate,” tweeted Prince George’s County Council member Calvin S. Hawkins II (D-At Large).