Last Updated: Wednesday, May 10, 2000, Noon

Probe into killing expanded

Palo Alto police Wednesday expanded their investigation into the killing of music teacher Kristine Fitzhugh, requesting a second search warrant for the family home on Escobita Avenue.

Agent Jim Coffman said the second warrant, which police expected to receive Wednesday, broadens the scope of the search. Coffman would not say what the second warrant will seek, but said the investigation at the home is expected to continue another couple of days.

Fitzhugh's body was found Friday at the foot of the basement stairs in the Southgate neighborhood house. Her death was originally classified as an accident but was reclassified Saturday after the coroner found that her head wounds could not have been suffered in a fall.

Fitzhugh's husband, Kenneth, remained in seclusion Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Palo Alto school district officials said psychologists had been sent to talk to each of the classes where Fitzhugh taught music. In addition, said Superintendent Don Phillips, psychologists have been made available to district staff.

"Events like this trigger other life experiences in children and adults," Phillips said. "They may have lost a parent or been hurt in a serious accident, and this will bring back emotions."

The district earlier this week prepared a letter to parents at each of the schools where Fitzhugh taught, advising them how to help children cope with the tragedy. The district has left it to the discretion of the principals at each school whether to send the letter home. Fitzhugh taught at six Palo Alto elementary schools--Addison, Duveneck, El Carmelo, Escondido, Fairmeadow and Nixon.

Kay Remsen, the district's director of musical programs, has gone to each of Fitzhugh's classes to meet with students and introduce the instructor who will substitute for her, Phillips said. He also expects each class to have a tribute to Fitzhugh at their end-of-the-year concerts in June.

Phillips said he is staying in touch with police and that counselors will be available if any developments in the investigation bring further attention to the case.

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