CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Tenn. — A Cumberland County commissioner who also taught at Stone Elementary School died Thursday, according to county's clerk's office. It comes less than a week after he was indicted on a sex crime involving a minor.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Friday it was assisting the District Attorney General's Office in the investigation.
According to the Cumberland County Circuit Court clerk, Speich had no defense attorney at the time of his death.
DA Bryant Dunaway said Speich likely died by suicide but that was not officially confirmed.
On Monday, Dunaway said a Cumberland County grand jury indicted commissioner Michael Speich on one count of sexual battery by an authority figure and one count of providing alcohol to a minor.
He 'intentionally touched the intimate parts, or the clothing covering the immediate area of the intimate parts of John Doe', the indictment said. It also stated the male victim, who is now 18 years old, was underage at the time of the alleged incident which is said to have happened on Dec. 26, 2018.
According to the district attorney, it reportedly happened at a location owned by Speich and not on school property.
The DA said Cumberland County deputies began to investigate an allegation that a teacher at Stone Elementary School had provided alcohol to a minor student. Deputies later identified Speich as the suspect, saying the victim was a minor at the time of the offense and they had found evidence of sexual abuse.
On June 24, the grand jury returned an indictment charging Speich.
The DA said the investigation is ongoing.
"If the public is aware of any other potential victims of similar abuse by this defendant, please contact the Office of the District Attorney General at telephone 931-484-8732 or in person at 112 Fourth Street, Crossville, TN," he said in a release.
Cumberland County Schools issued a statement Monday regarding the indictment:
"Today, Michael Speich, Cumberland County School Employee and Cumberland County Commissioner was indicted by the Cumberland County Grand Jury and subsequently arrested on charges of providing alcohol to a minor and sexual battery by an authority figure.
Our children are our greatest asset. They are our hope and our future and deserve to be protected and nurtured, especially by those entrusted with their care. That is what makes allegations such as these so disturbing.
We are deeply grieved by this and offer our heartfelt sympathy to those impacted by the circumstances surrounding these allegations. You remain in our thoughts and prayers.
We wish to thank everyone involved in addressing these troubling allegations, from those first receiving the reports, to our law enforcement and judicial communities. We have every confidence in their ability to effectively handle this on-going investigation.
We respectfully decline to make further comments until such time as deemed appropriate.
Cumberland County Mayor
Janet C. Graham
Director of Schools"