Samuel Mendez, the longtime general manager of the Arturo Fuente Cigar Co., has died at the age of 44.
The news of his passing was reported on Friday morning by several Dominican news outlets, including Diario Digital and Listin Diario, which report that the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Mendez was found in a Ford Explorer shortly after noon on Thursday in the La Barranquita area, south of Santiago. Diario Libre adds that a letter to Mendez’s family and friends was found inside the vehicle.
Mendez was one of the more visible members of the extended Fuente family, particularly for visitors to the factory and Procigar Festival, where he led the company’s operations. He also represented the company at numerous events around the world, including the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) Convention & Trade Show. He joined the company in 1995 and in 2000 was named general manager.
In addition to his work the Fuente family, Mendez was second lieutenant in the Dominican Republic army.
Mendez is survived by his wife, Brenda, and two children, Camila and Diego.
(Image via Samuel Mendez’s Facebook page)