Body found on school playground


A 38-year-old Scott County man was found dead outside Brownstown Elementary School Tuesday morning.

Police responding to a call at 10:05 a.m. found Earl D. Campbell of Austin lying on the ground on the west side of the school building. A teacher’s aide had initially found Campbell’s body and called 911, Police Chief Tom Hanner said.

Hanner said the cause of Campbell’s death remains under investigation.

An autopsy was conducted by Dr. Wes Whitler on Tuesday afternoon at Schneck Medical Center, and no anatomical cause of death was found, Coroner Roger Wheeler said.

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He said that means Campbell did not die of a heart attack or from any blunt force trauma.

“Blood work is pending,” Wheeler said.

Police do not know why Campbell was in Brownstown, and no vehicle was found at the scene, Hanner said.

A soft lockdown was put into place throughout the remainder of the school day, Hanner said. That means exterior doors are locked so people cannot get in and out of the school of about 700 students. Students and teachers, however, are not confined to their classrooms.

Students were allowed to go home at the end of the school day, Hanner said.

School officials said a school counselor was made available to students.

Shortly after the incident, officials with Brownstown Central Community School Corp. released this statement:

“There was no threat to any students or staff at any of our schools. Classes are continuing as scheduled. When we first received information on this incident, we implemented our school emergency guidelines. We also activated our school and corporation crisis response teams. Our crisis response teams immediately went into action and are providing help for our students, parents and faculty.”

Brownstown Central High School sent out emails to parents and students alerting them of the situation.

A statement sent to parents read as follows:

“Parents, at BES this morning, the police were called to identify a body that was found. All students were and are safe. A letter is coming home with your BCHS student today regarding this.”

Officers with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Jackson County Coroner’s Office and Jackson County Emergency Management Agency are assisting.

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