Public Safety

Grinnell College cancels classes after DCI IDs Black man's body found in burning ditch

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KELLOGG, Iowa — Authorities have identified a man whose body was found last week in a burning ditch in rural central Iowa.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said the body is that of Michael Williams, 44, of Grinnell. His body was found after authorities were called around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday for a fire in a ditch near Kellogg. Officials responded and quickly extinguished the flames, then found Williams’ body.

Police have not given information on how Williams died, but have declared his death a homicide.

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KELLOGG, Iowa - Police in Iowa have arrested four people in the death of a man whose body was found burning last week in rural central Iowa ditch.

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Grinnell College canceled classes Monday in light of the Williams’ death, noting that some people in the community fear Williams, who is Black, may have been targeted because of his race.

“This stark and brutal murder in the national context of racial injustice has struck intense fear for safety of our Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) colleagues, friends and families,” Grinnell College President Anne Harris wrote in a statement.

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