Gretchen Krohnfeldt, a 47-year-old mother of three, was placed on leave from her job teaching the eighth grade at Colorado’s Drake Middle School after being accused of having inappropriate relations with a male former student. As police were on their way to her home to question her about the allegations, she reportedly committed suicide.
On Monday, a report was sent to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office accusing Krohnfeldt of the relationship. A joint investigation by police and sheriffs revealed that the alleged relationship started when the high school boy was still attending the teacher’s school. According to sources, she and the student would met up at her home for the trysts. The next day, she reportedly took her own life.
“Our office has received several inquiries about a teacher death and related allegations,” a statement from the school principal to law enforcement and school district officials said. “Our information is limited, and we do not want to compromise the investigation; and most importantly, our Jeffco family is deeply affected by this incident and respecting all involved is a priority.”
Krohnfeldt was pronounced dead at her home on Tuesday. Her cause of death is still pending and is being investigated. However, relatives have insisted that it was a suicide. In a letter sent home to parents, school officials announced her passing, but shared no details on it:
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. If you or your student is struggling with grief or needs extra support, you may want to contact either the Jefferson Center for Mental Health (https://www.jcmh.org/) at 303.425.0300, or the Colorado Crisis Service (http://coloradocrisisservices.org/) hotline at 1.844.493.8255.
Out of respect for family privacy we will not be sharing any details about Ms. Krohnfeldt’s death. However, should you have other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the office at 303.982.1510.