Body found near Evergreen Elementary School

Published On: Feb 19 2013 07:11:05 AM PST   Updated On: Feb 19 2013 06:03:40 PM PST
evergreen elementary death pic
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Deputies are investigating the death of a man in North Spokane after a body was found in a yard near Evergreen Elementary School early Tuesday morning.

The Spokane Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim Tuesday afternoon as Michael Dressel, 48. The cause of death has not been identified by the medical examiner, "pending further studies."

Spokane County Sheriff's deputies said Dressel's body was found near the school at 5:40 a.m. near the 8600 block of North Weipert Drive by a newspaper delivery person.

Deputies said they are investigating Dressel's death as a homicide because the death did not appear to be natural.

When parents dropped their kids off at nearby Evergreen Elementary Tuesday morning, things in the area looked much different than usual. Crime tape filled the area around the school while major crimes deputies investigated the discovery of Dressel's body in a yard near the school grounds.

Deputies said they are investigating multiple leads, including someone who may have seen him walking last night.

 "We are looking into some calls about a male wandering through traffic, in and out of the streets, which we responded too but we weren't able to locate him so we don't know if this is together, if they are coincidence or not," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Gregory said.

The school took extra precautions because of the investigation near the school; Evergreen Principal Jon Iverson felt it was best to put the school on a modified lockdown.

"We practice this often in any kind of modified lockdown to a full lockdown, and again I don't know if this is necessary but we want to be safe for kids," Iverson said.

That meant keeping kids inside all day and not letting them go out for recess; the Mead School District wanted to shield the students as best as they could from the crime scene.

"For the Mead School District, student safety is the utmost [importance]," Iverson said.