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Hartshorne school releases students early after employee found deceased

Mar. 14—Hartshorne's North Ward Elementary School was placed on lockdown Thursday as a precautionary measure after a school employee was found deceased.

Hartshorne Police Chief Jerry Ford identified the employee as Timothy Maddux, 42, of Hartshorne. Ford said the family has been notified.

Ford said Maddux, who was a janitor at the school, was found in a janitor's closet at the elementary school. The police chief said he saw no signs of foul play and his initial conclusion is that Maddux died due to natural causes.

He said Maddux's body has been released to the state Medical Examiner's office. The Medical Examiner's office is expected to issue a finding on the exact cause of death.

Hartshorne Public Schools dismissed school early for the day.

Ford said the school was placed on lockdown while the initial investigation was underway. Law enforcement and school officials wanted to ensure the elementary school students remained inside their classrooms and did not see activity related to the initial investigation.

Ford said his information is that Maddux had been employed at Hartshorne Public Schools since 2008.