KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Investigators may never know what killed an Oklahoma man whose skull was found in a Kansas City backyard.
The Jackson County Medical Examiner has ruled that Terry Kirtley’s cause of death is “undetermined.”
Back on August 28, a Kansas City man found Kirtley’s skull sitting in the backyard of a home in the 3700 block of Myrtle. In the following days, authorities found the rest of Kirtley’s skeletal remains while searching a nearby wooded area.
In September, NBC Action News spoke with investigators with the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office about the difficulty of determining a cause of death in that type of case. The discovery of a skeleton accompanied by few other clues—like a bullet hole or knife wound—would make the task “tremendous,” one investigator had said.
Kirtley was sentenced to a five-year prison term in February, 2006 for a drug possession conviction. However, corrections officials released him on parole three years later.
He had been missing from a group home for several months and a warrant had been issued for his arrest before his skull was discovered.
According to the autopsy report, Kirtley had a history of mental illness and bipolar disorder with schizophrenia. A toxicology test found evidence of antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs. However, the autopsy did not reveal any signs of trauma that could indicate a possible homicide.
A Kansas City homicide detective said the death investigation will become an inactive case. If any new information surfaces, the case can be reopened.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Latest Crime News
A southeast Kansas man could face the death penalty after being convicted of murdering three of his relatives at their home in west-central Missouri.