An aide to Sen. Jim Webb was found dead from a gunshot wound Tuesday morning, the Virginia Democrat's office confirmed to FOX News on Wednesday.
Frederick Wayne Hutchins Jr., 26, ran Webb's Roanoke office.
According to media reports, local police had not made a ruling on the cause of his death and were awaiting the results of an autopsy.
The Richmond Times Dispatch reported that Hutchins' body was found near his vehicle, which was parked on an embankment along a highway a few miles north of Roanoke, which is in southwestern Virginia.
He was found with a single gunshot wound to the head, and a handgun beneath his body, according to the paper.
"I am terribly saddened by the tragic and sudden death of Fred Hutchins, who diligently managed our Roanoke Senate office," Webb said in a statement issued late Tuesday.
"Freddie was one of the most honorable and friendly individuals I have had the pleasure of knowing. He was a mainstay in the Roanoke community and a friend to all who knew him. My condolences go out to his mother, Karen, and the rest of his family and friends. He will be greatly missed," Webb said.
A spokeswoman for the senator said that Hutchins had been a rising star obsessed with politics.
"It's just the saddest thing. He was such a great kid, so full of life, so sweet and so so well loved," the spokeswoman said.
A state lawmaker for whom Hutchins worked told a local TV station he first met the political operative at a very young age.
"At 13-years-old, Fred had political cards, and it said Fred W. Hutchins Jr., Political Consultant ... at 13," said Del. Onzlee Ware, according to WDBJ7.com. "So then he announced to me that one day he knew I was going to run for public office and when that day came he was going to be my campaign manager."