Body Is Discovered on Steps of School

The body of a woman was discovered Tuesday on the steps of Lincoln Elementary School in downtown Ventura, just as students were being dropped off for classes.

Acting quickly to shield the arriving kindergarten through fifth-grade students, school employees covered the body with blankets and directed parents to drop off their children on the other side of the school, said Principal Elke Fedde.

“We’ve tried to keep the students from seeing her,” she said. “But of course they know, and there’s whispers of, ‘There’s a dead woman over there.’ ”

Although Fedde and police at the scene said there was no evidence of a struggle, police are calling the death suspicious. Investigators spent about an hour Tuesday morning discreetly collecting evidence from the scene.


Sgt. Larry White said officers found some of the woman’s belongings under a bush near the stairs where she was discovered, in front of the school office on Santa Clara Street.

Investigators would not release the woman’s name pending notification of relatives.

Lt. Carl Handy said the woman, who was white and in her mid-40s, was from the Ventura area but that he could not release more information because investigators were still working on the case.