Students at East Lansing's Glencairn Elementary made an unsettling discovery Wednesday morning, a body just steps from their playground.
"I was on my way to a classroom when a teacher approached me in a panic mode and said you need to come outside," Glencairn Principal Andrew Wells said.
Wells says a Glencairn class was playing outside around 10 a.m. when two sixth grade students stumbled upon a body and handgun behind the school. They immediately told a teacher and that teacher ushered rest of the class back inside. The school then alerted authorities.
"The students that discovered the body obviously they've processed this now and they're in more or less of a shock or surprise mode now," Wells explained.
East Lansing police were already in the Glencarin area looking for a 25-year-old man. His parents had called the department around 9:30 a.m. worried for their son's safety. They told officers he may be suicidal and a gun was missing from their home.
Police say Glencairn is just blocks from the 25-year-old's home.
"Being discovered by some young children that is very unfortunate," Captain Bill Mitchell, with East Lansing Police said. "You know that's a traumatic experience, so that is unique, and then we're also dealing with the family of the deceased too and obviously it was a shock to them."
Officers told the school a lockdown was not necessary and classes went on as normal Wednesday. School leaders, however, did talk with students and parents about the situation. Parents were invited to remove their children from class for the day if they wished.
The elementary says it's doing everything it can to help students and staff move past the disturbing day.
Police are still investigating but say they're treating the case as a likely suicide. The medical examiner will be conducting an autopsy Thursday morning.