Man found deceased in car identified

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The man found deceased inside a vehicle at Washburn Rural Middle School has been identified as Matthew T. Essman, 44, of Topeka.

Preliminary investigation indicate Mr. Essman died of natural causes.

This incident is still under investigation.


Shawnee County officials say the death of a man whose body was found in a car on the campus of a Topeka school is not considered suspicious.

A deputy found the man’s body in a car late Monday on the grounds of Washburn Rural Middle School.

He was described as being in his mid-40s but his name was not released.  Martin Weishaar, spokesman for the school district, says the man appeared to have died from a medical condition.

The man was not associated with the school.   The Shawnee County sheriff’s office also said the death didn’t appear to be suspicious, although the investigation into the cause of death will continue.

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