Police have person of interest in custody in Sunset Hill murder

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Police are questioning a person of interest in a murder in one of Kansas City's most expensive neighborhoods. The victim has been involved in several high profile financial deals and lawsuits over the past few years.

Forty-nine-year-old Michael Tutera was found dead around 1 a.m. Thursday inside his luxury home overlooking Ward Parkway.

Investigators are not saying how he died, but spokesman Rich Lockhart said the cause of death is 'obvious' and they are working the case as a homicide.

Lockhart said the fact that the community is gated means they know who comes in and out and that they are working some very good leads into the man's death.

It’s actually a lot easier because there’s controlled access,” Lockhart said. “We’re developing some good leads that will probably help us solve this one rather quickly.”

A family friend, Mark Untersee, spoke for Tutera's mother and siblings, saying, "All the family members are obviously in a state of shock, they are devastated."

Tutera and his wife bought the Bloch estate at 63rd and Ward Parkway a few years ago. Before they could tear it down and rebuild, they defaulted on the mortgage and the bank foreclosed.

A short time later, Tutera sold his shares of Central Bank of Kansas City to his brother and two sisters.

The Tutera family had owned the bank since the 60s. Then Tutera sued his siblings, saying he had been shortchanged. They've counter-sued, and the lawsuit is scheduled for trial next spring.

Untersee won't discuss that battle, only their hope that the murder is solved soon.

"We don't know anything more than has already been reported," said Untersee.

Tutera also pleaded guilty to multiple DWI's from 2002-2004.

He has been sued by his homeowners association for almost a year's worth of dues. And despite his money problems, Tutera donated $85,000 to political candidates in 2008.

Police haven't said if Tutera's murder is related to his business deals.

Police have not identified the person of interest and have not said what evidence may have led them to that individual.

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