Snohomish County teacher found dead near her home

MILL CREEK, Wash. -- An elementary school teacher found dead near her home in Snohomish County this week died of hypothermia, the Medical Examiner's Office ruled.

Kathy Jenks

According to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office, the body of 57-year-old Kathleen E. Jenks, a teacher at Little Cedars Elementary School, was found Wednesday night by a passerby in the 6300 block of Snohomish Cascade Drive. She'd been missing since Monday, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office said her death does not appear to be suspicious, but the Major Crimes Unit continues to investigate.

"It’s not uncommon that when folks do get the early onsets of hypothermia that they may wander or get a little disoriented," said Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Courtney O'Keefe. "Detectives believe that is what happened here."

Little Cedars Elementary Principal Lew Dickert said Jenks taught second grade.

"We are heartbroken by this news. Her death is a profound loss to our Little Cedars Elementary family, our school district and to the Snohomish community. Mrs. Jenks loved kids and was passionate about helping them reach their full potential," Dickert said in a letter to parents.

The Everett Herald reports that Jenks worked in the Shoreline School District for 27 years and had been teaching at Little Cedars since 2017.

The school's principal said counselors will be available at the school starting Friday (Jan. 17).