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Key West basketball coach, teacher found dead in storm drain near school, police say

Dexter Butler, a “beloved” teacher and basketball coach at Key West High School, was found dead in a storm drain near the school on Saturday morning, police said.

“We offer our sincere condolences to his family and to all students who knew and worked with him,” Monroe County Schools Superintendent Theresa Axford said in a statement.

Early Saturday morning, Key West police officers and firefighters rushed to Key West High, 2100 Flagler Ave., to reports of an injured person, Key West police spokesperson Alyson Crean said.

Authorities found Butler’s body in a storm drain near the school’s gymnasium. After recovering it, foul play is not suspected in his death, Crean said.

Axford told Keys Weekly that Butler was reaching for his keys that fell down the drain when he lost his balance and fell face-first inside. He drowned in 18 inches of water.

An official cause of death has not been released as police continue investigating.

Butler spent about 14 years teaching at Key West High and at Horace O’Bryant Middle School, the school district said. Apart from basketball, he coached junior varsity baseball at the high school and youth baseball at the middle school in the past.

In her statement, Axford said Key West High and Horace O’Bryant Middle will have counselors offering aid to students and staff on Monday “as they process this loss.”