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FBI seeks additional witnesses in Alonzo Brooks’ death

Body of Alonzo Brooks exhumed 'as part of the ongoing investigation,' FBI says
Posted at 5:06 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 18:08:03-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New information regarding the 2004 disappearance and suspicious death of Alonzo Brooks has prompted the FBI to expand its investigation.

Brooks was one of three Black people among 80 to 100 partygoers at a farmhouse on April 4, 2004, near LaCygne, Kansas, in Linn County, according to information provided in June by U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Stephen McAllister.

But the FBI has learned that there was another party nearby and, after a confrontation at the second party, some of those individuals left and joined the party where Brooks was attending with friends from Gardner.

The FBI, which recently learned of the second party after conducting new interviews as part of the investigation into Brooks’ disappearance, wants to speak with anyone who attended either party.

“Any information you may have regarding this evening or these parties is valuable and could be crucial to this investigation,” the FBI said in a statement Friday. “Even the smallest bit of information that may seem insignificant standing alone could be vital to the investigators.”

People who attended the parties or have information about partygoers or the events that night are asked to call the FBI at 816-512-8000, leave an anonymous tip with the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477) or report that information through tips.fbi.gov.

Brooks, who was 23 years old at the time, lived in Gardner. He wound up stranded at the party after his friends left before him.

He has not been seen since that night.

Brooks’ boots and hat were found near the farmhouse where the party he attended took place.

After a search by local authorities proved fruitless, Brooks’ family discovered his decomposed body May 1 — nearly a month after his disappearance — in nearby Middle Creek.

No cause of death was determined at the time.

“It defies reason to believe that Alonzo’s death was a suicide or that he somehow accidentally tumbled into a relatively shallow creek in Linn County, leaving behind his boots and hat, all with no witnesses whatsoever,” McAllister said at a news conference in June, announcing that an investigation into the cold case had been repoened.

McAllister said there were reports of racist comments made at the party, which lead the FBI to believe Brooks’ death may have been a hate crime.

The renewed attention came after Brooks’ case was featured on “Unsolved Mysteries,” a documentary series Netflix rebooted earlier in 2020. The episode was entitled “No Ride Home.”

After it aired, the FBI exhumed Brooks’ body from a Topeka cemetery in late July “as part of an ongoing investigation,” an FBI spokesperson said.

“We’re confident that someone, somewhere, knows something about that evening 16 years ago, information that will be critical to this investigation,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Langan said in June.

A reward of up to $100,000 is available for information in Brooks’ case.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the 41 Action News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the 41 Action News Mug Shot Policy.