(NBC News) — On Thursday’s all-new “Dateline,” a small town in the Ohio River Valley is left in shock after beloved local coal miner Brad McGarry is found fatally shot in the basement of his home.

As investigators dig into his personal life, a secret affair reveals a surprising suspect.

Here is a preview of Dennis Murphy’s report:

The Ohio River Valley, for decades here, generations of men have gone underground. And in places like Bellaire, Ohio, population 4,000, it’s still a way of life.

DENNIS MURPHY: Is it as tough as most people think —


DENNIS MURPHY:  — to be a coal miner?

FRANCO PINACCHIO: It’s not for everybody. Super physical, uh, demanding. You’re almost 2,000 feet underground. One way out. The gases will kill you. The moving equipment will kill you, the coal falling will kill you. It’s an unforgiving environment.

But with risk comes reward. In this case a big payday, for some, up to six figures, luring men like Brad McGarry to don a hard hat and take their chances underground.

The 43-year-old rose through the ranks to become a foreman. A bit remarkable because Brad McGarry was not your father’s coal miner.

DENNIS MURPHY: He was openly gay?


DENNIS MURPHY: Never tried to conceal it, right?


DENNIS MURPHY: Was comfortable in his skin?


DENNIS MURPHY: He was being Brad.

MELANIE ROSKOVICH: Yes. He was real. He never pretended to be anyone that he wasn’t.

But Brad was also a person with a secret. And a secret, as we all know, can be dangerous.

Watch “Dateline: Dangerous Secret,” Thursday at 10 p.m. on NBC4.

About ‘Dateline’

“Dateline NBC” is the longest-running series in NBC primetime history and is in its 32nd season. Dateline is anchored by Lester Holt and features correspondents Andrea Canning, Josh Mankiewicz, Keith Morrison and Dennis Murphy.

The stories range from compelling mysteries to powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations. When major news breaks, they go to the scene, putting the pieces together to bring the viewer the full picture. And in every story they tell, they help the real people who lived the events share their journeys with the viewer.