Body found outside Big Lake Elementary School briefly puts school into stay-put mode

Big Lake Elementary was temporarily put into stay-put mode Tuesday when a body was found outside the school.
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 1:49 PM AKDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2022 at 6:23 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska State Troopers are investigating a body found outside of Big Lake Elementary School on Tuesday, which temporarily put the school under a “stay-put” mode.

Troopers spokesperson Austin McDaniel said in an email there was “no known connection between the school and the deceased person, however, the Alaska Bureau of Investigation is actively investigating this incident.” In an online trooper dispatch report posted later Tuesday, troopers said the person found dead in the playground area outside the school Tuesday morning “was discovered by an adult employee of the school.”

Katherine Gardner, associate superintendent of human resources for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, confirmed that the stay-put mode went into effect Tuesday morning. School and classes continued inside the building throughout the day.

Gardner said later on Tuesday afternoon that the stay-put mode had been lifted. End-of-school procedures were going as planned and buses were running as normal for students.

“There was no danger to any of the students or staff at the school,” troopers wrote in the dispatch report.

According to troopers, the State Medical Examiner’s Office took possession of the body and will determine the cause and manner of death. The Alaska Bureau of Investigation has assumed responsibility for the case and is continuing the investigation.

The family of the person who was found dead has been notified, troopers wrote. McDaniel said in a follow up email that “due to the active and ongoing investigation,” the name of the person was not yet available.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

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