A Colorado middle school teacher was found dead at her home after being under investigation for an alleged inappropriate relationship between herself and a former student.
Gretchen Krohnfeldt, 47, was pronounced dead on May 9 at around 1 p.m., KCNC-TV reported. Authorities said the eighth-grade middle school teacher took her own life as police officers were on their way to interview her about an alleged affair between her and a former student.
One law enforcement official reportedly witnessed her take her own life at her home in Arvada.
Krohnfeldt, who taught social studies, English language arts and reading intervention at Drake Middle School, was placed on administrative leave after a resource officer at the school received a tip about the alleged affair with the former student.
That report was made by a Drake staffer, according to a statement by the Arvada Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
The staffer claimed to have seen Krohnfeldt engage in unspecified inappropriate behavior with the male student months ago, but didn't come forward about it until May.
The school's principal immediately contacted the authorities when he learned about the alleged affair. An investigation was launched, and officers searched Krohnfeldt's classroom, which was temporarily sealed off.
Krohnfeldt had been teaching in Jefferson County since 1993, according to her biography on the school's website. Her page has since been taken down, the Daily Mail reported.
The school sent a letter to parents informing them of the teacher's death:
Dear Drake Middle School Families,
I have some tragic news to share with the Drake community. One of our 8th grade teachers, Gretchen Krohnfeldt, has suddenly passed away. Our hearts go out to her family at this painful time, and I know many will feel this loss deeply.
We do not have any information about a memorial service at this time; however we will pass it along at the direction of the family. We are not sure what type of support would help the family right now, but if they convey any needs we will share that information as well.
Students often have questions about death and loss, so they may want to discuss their feelings with you. We will have mental health counselors at the school tomorrow for any student who may need additional emotional support ...
Out of respect for family privacy we will not be sharing any details about Ms. Krohnfeldt’s death.
Jefferson County Public Schools also issued a statement, saying that the investigation into Krohnfeldt’s alleged affair with the student, who is now in high school, will continue.