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POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) _ Police are investigating the discovery of a body near a southeast Missouri school where classes begin this week.

KFVS-TV reports ( ) a school district employee found the body Monday afternoon in a patch of woods behind Poplar Bluff Junior High School. Police ay the location is just north of U.S. 67.

Police Chief Danny Whiteley says the body was severely decomposed.

The Poplar Bluff school district website shows classes are scheduled to begin Thursday.