The Navarro County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the unattended death of Michael Prim, a longtime instructor at Navarro College.

Prim was found deceased in the back yard of a co-worker’s home in Dawson shortly before noon Monday, said Sheriff Elmer Tanner.

Tanner said Prim had spent Sunday night in Dawson at the home of the co-worker, and had talked with him Monday morning.

Shortly before noon, the co-worker returned to the home in Dawson and found Prim deceased in the back yard of the home, Tanner said.

Justice of the Peace Jackie Freeland pronounced Prim dead at the scene and ordered an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

Tanner said detectives are in the early stages of their investigation, and could not speculate on the circumstances surrounding Prim’s death.

“We just don’t know at this time,” Tanner said. “There’s not enough evidence to make a determination.”

Prim taught English at Navarro College for nearly 30 years. He was a well liked and respected member of the faculty at the college.

Prim received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University. He had previously taught English at the Aldine Independent School District in Houston, and at Stephen F. Austin State University before coming to Navarro College.

An email to Navarro College employees Monday night shared the news of Prim’s passing.

“Mike has been a part of this NC Family since 1985, and we all have so many fond memories of how he touched our lives in one way or another,” the email read.

“This loss is being felt across our community, and now is the time that our NC Family must support one another and our students as we look for comfort. We ask that you keep Mike's family, friends, students and co-workers in your thoughts and prayers as we all grieve this loss together.”


Bob Belcher may be reached by email at

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