The Clymer school superintendent was found dead outside his home Monday morning, in what Chautauqua County sheriff's officials are calling an apparent homicide.
Sheriff's deputies found the body of Keith L. Reed Jr., 51, on his property on Clymer-Sherman Road, Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace said.
Gerace said Reed's body was found by a sheriff's K-9 dog outside his residence. The sheriff would not say where on or near Reed's property that his body was found.
The sheriff also said he couldn't discuss any leads into motives or possible persons of interest because of the ongoing nature of the investigation.
"We got a missing-persons report [Sunday] night from colleagues and friends gathered at [Reed's] house," Gerace said.
"One of our K-9 units went up this morning, and the dog found the body."
Preliminary indications suggest that Reed was shot to death. Asked whether he was shot multiple times, the sheriff said, "That is probably accurate."
Reed, who lived alone, had last been seen alive Friday evening.
Sheriff's officials gave no indication of any possible suspects in the case.
Forensic experts remained on the scene searching for evidence and clues into Reed's death. Reed's body is expected to undergo an autopsy this morning in the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office in Buffalo.
Gerace said sheriff's officials are seeking the public's help with any information into Reed's death. The Chautauqua County sheriff's number is 753-2131.
R. John Rough, who lives next door to Reed, was out of town in Pittsburgh when his neighbor was believed to have last been seen.
He was stunned to see all of the police activity outside of his home Monday morning.
"It's just beyond me. I can't imagine anyone wanting to do harm to him. He was not that kind of guy," Rough said. "He was a very personable person. Very likable."
Rough said he was told that Reed was never unavailable for extended periods of time.
After School Board officials were unable to reach Reed over the weekend, or get a return call, Rough said they went to his home. After that, the missing persons report was filed.
"He cared about his job, the teachers and the personnel at the school. He cared about the kids," said Rough, whose grandson is an eighth-grader in the Clymer district.
"He was very energetic about his work. He was conscientious. I don't think the school will find another superintendent like him."
Rough said the superintendent, who was divorced but expected to soon remarry, lived alone with his dog. He recalled they often exchanging friendly waves and conversation while outside tending to their yards.
"We're going to miss him tremendously, he was a great neighbor," Rough said.
Reed's home remained surrounded by yellow crime scene tape as the sun set into darkness Monday.
Following news of the superintendent's death, several school activities were canceled or postponed. The district posted a message on its website announcing his death.
"We became concerned that the superintendent was missing after he did not return phone calls that he typically does," the statement said.
"We express our deepest sympathies to his family and close friends. Grief counselors will be available to assist faculty, students and parents throughout the week.
"This unfortunate matter is being handled by the Sheriff's Department and any further communication will come from their office."
Reed, a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, was appointed as superintendent Nov. 28, 2011.
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