A sailor who was charged with the murder of a gay colleague was found dead in his prison cell on Friday.

Petty officer Jonathan Campos, 32, of Lancaster, California, killed himself by stuffing toilet tissue into his mouth until he suffocated, a US Navy spokesman said.

August Provost, 29, of Houston, was found dead on June 30th in a sentry station at Camp Pendleton in southern California. He had been shot multiple times and his body had been burned.

Provost’s family have said he complained about being harassed about his sexuality before he died, although the Navy says it has no evidence his death was a hate crime.

Campos was charged on July 23rd with 16 offences, including murder, unlawful handling of a dead body, soliciting a civilian to kill a fellow sailor and stealing military property.

He had been in custody since July 1st and was to appear before a military court shortly.

Last month, Provost’s aunt Rose Roy said the family had been told he was killed by someone who feared being outed.

She said she was not at liberty to disclose where the information had come from.