Former Mount Carbon mayor dies at age 23

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 10, 2017 3:40 AM

(Pottsville) -- A midstate mayor has died at age 23, hours after resigning his post.

Brandon Wentz resigned Wednesday night because he and the family had moved out of the small Schuylkill County borough of Mount Carbon, his mother said. A deputy coroner pronounced Wentz dead Thursday morning. Officials haven't said how he died.

Wentz was appointed mayor of Mount Carbon in February 2016. He followed his mother and grandmother into public service. His grandmother was the first woman to be mayor of Mount Carbon, and his mother served on the council.

"We were brought up to give back to our community by my parents and I have passed it on to my children," his mother, Janel Wentz-Firestone, told The Associated Press.

Wentz was a student at Kutztown University who aspired to be a writer. He told WNEP-TV around the time he took office that he wanted to fight blight in his town. Mount Carbon, population about 90, is about 100 miles from Philadelphia.

"I would love for him to be known for his big heart and his passion for reading and writing. As for being mayor, he did enjoy the opportunity to serve the borough residents and gained a lot of experience," his mother said. "We are all heartbroken."

An investigation into Wentz's death is underway. Neither the coroner's office nor state police returned messages from the AP on Friday.

An earlier story appears below. 

(Pottsville) -- A former midstate mayor is dead at 23, but state officials have yet to release how or why he died.

Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Albert Barnes says he pronounced former Mount Carbon Mayor Brandon Wentz dead at 7:58 yesterday morning.

He says the next of kin has been notified, but he cannot provide further comment as requested by state police.

Barnes was appointed mayor of the borough in February 2016.

As one of the youngest mayors for the borough, he previously told WNEP-TV his goal was to remove the eyesores in the area.

Barnes' mother told the station in a Facebook message that the family had recently relocated out of the borough.

She says Wentz resigned as the mayor and declined to comment on her son's death.

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