ROSS (CBS / AP) — Authorities said they found the body of a Ross school teacher who left a cryptic message on her classroom blackboard before going missing.

Searchers found 53-year-old Debra Schmitt’s body Saturday morning near a creek in the small town, police said. Schmitt was a Ross resident.

Students in Schmitt’s high school English class told police they found the message “Thank you everyone” on the chalkboard when they showed up for class Jan. 20. She was last seen a day earlier.

Police said there were no signs of foul play where Schmitt was found. The Marin County coroner planned to investigate the cause of her death, which could take several weeks.

Schmitt’s cousin Linda Czarnik said the teacher was going through a divorce and had recently lost three close relatives.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (11)
  1. Trudy Sayer says:

    This wily, scammer husband needs to be investigated,
    interrogated and tracked 24/7 —
    including prior movements & activities, computer/phone records,

    Hey, students & community:
    Demand that professional, experienced police
    and FBI investigators take over this case !

    (note: Has the Ross police dept.
    ever heard of Scott Peterson?)


    “Earlier reports said Schmitt had been found in the afternoon,
    possibly in the backyard of her home,
    according to a police officer who didn’t want to be named.”
    (Bay City news service)


  2. Trudy Sayer says:

    WHY DIDN’T HER (wannabe divorced) HUSBAND
    and her teenage son
    REPORT HER MISSING on the night of Jan. 19th —
    why wasn’t she reported missing until
    her no-show at school the next morning
    at 9:45 AM ???

    tactics are being carried out
    — rather than a serious investigation —
    this woman’s husband (Stephen Charles Smith) has
    a long history of business scams, corporate bankruptcies and financial chicanery !!!
    and also the defunct “POWER COMPANY OF AMERICA”.

    1. DaPoPoMan says:

      Hmmmm, you are absolutely right there Trudy. Let’s see, FBI does not have jurisdiction. If they were going through a divorce, perhaps neither the husband, nor the teenage son knew or cared she was missing. The Scott Peterson case and this one bear such a close resemblance that it is scary. But then, maybe the police should be looking at you Trudy. If you are so riled up about this and willing to point fingers, perhaps you and Schmidt had a love affair and you killed her in a fit of jealous rage. Yes, maybe they should be tracking and interrogating you 24/7. Please, wake up and smell the coffee!!!!

  3. bounty hunterr says:

    ha ha now that’s funny!

  4. Dawg says:

    Ha, ha, Trudy, you made my day. Thank you for the smile.

  5. Karen Sullivan says:

    I’m wondering why with three polie departments looking for Debbie, no dogs were used to locate her? Is Ross County a Mayberry Dept?

    1. DaPoPoMan says:


      Ross is tiny and yes, pretty much like Mayberry.

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