Details lacking in man’s death

Police planned to hit the streets around Brownstown Elementary School in an effort to find out why a Scott County man was found dead on a school playground Tuesday morning.

Brownstown Police Chief Tom Hanner said Wednesday morning that police know little more about the death of Earl D. Campbell, 38, of Austin and the circumstances behind his death.

“We’re going to broaden the area around the school,” Hanner said in an effort to see if anybody heard or saw anything.

Detective John Long interviewed people near the school, Hanner said, and many heard or saw things Monday night or Tuesday morning, but none of it can be tied to the investigation of Campbell’s death.

An autopsy conducted by Dr. Wes Whitler on Tuesday afternoon at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour showed there were no visible signs of the cause of Campbell’s death, including blunt force trauma, Jackson County Coroner Roger Wheeler said. There also was no evidence he died of a heart attack or similar medical condition, Wheeler said.

A teacher’s aide taking a third-grade class to recess at the school found Campbell’s body lying on the west side of the building and called 911, Hanner said.

Police responded to a call at 10:05 a.m. and found Campbell dead.

Hanner said late Wednesday morning police were still trying to determine why Campbell’s body was at the school.

No vehicle was found at the scene, he said.

Investigators have not talked with Campbell’s family as of late Wednesday morning, Hanner said.

Wheeler said he spoke with family members at Schneck Medical Center on Tuesday after they were made aware of Campbell’s death.

A soft lockdown was put into place throughout the remainder of the school day Tuesday, 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 “as normal,” Hanner said.

The elementary counselor visited with all third-grade classes and other counselors were on call if needed but were not utilized, Superintendent Greg Walker said.

Centerstone, a local behavioral health and rehabilitation center, also reached out to the school and offered counseling services, Walker said.

“We will make that available if anyone needs it,” he said.

After the report, Walker said the teacher’s aide initiated a reverse evacuation drill, where all students are to immediately go back into the school building and to their classrooms.

Walker said parents need to explain to students that they are safe at school.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.