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Kansas City man sentenced 28 years in prison for murdering, dumping body of roommate in 2020

gavel, justice
Posted at 11:42 AM, Nov 17, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, man was sentenced to 28 years in prison after he pleaded guilty on Thursday, Nov. 16, to murdering his roommate.

William M. Bell, 29, admitted he shot and killed his roommate, Conrado Mendez Jr., in Jackson County in March 2020. Bell then dumped Mendez's body in a remote area of Platte County.

An employee of the Riverside/Quindaro Levee District was mowing near the 4300 block of Northwest Tullison Road on April 9, 2020, when he discovered a body under a wooden footbridge, according to a release from Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd.

The Riverside Police Department responded and located the body, later identified as Mendez, wrapped in plastic. Mendez reportedly died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to autopsy results.

Due to the lack of leads on the case, the Kansas City Metro Squad, which is made up of detectives from departments across the Kansas City area and activated during difficult homicide cases, investigated the case.

Investigators used the plastic Mendez was wrapped in to narrow down the search for suspects. Mendez was found wrapped in plastic used to ship a twin-size mattress box spring. A label on the plastic led investigators to a furniture dealer, who provided a list of customers that recently purchased that particular box spring, according to Zahnd's release.

That list led investigators to search a home, which had been occupied by Bell, Mendez and another male roommate, on East 12th Street in Jackson County. A search warrant at the residence returned items consistent with evidence found at the crime scene where Mendez's body was found.

A pair of black nitrile gloves found at the crime scene had DNA consistent with Bell and Mendez.

Surveillance video near the crime scene showed a 1983 Chevrolet Celebrity, the same model of car Bell owned, parked at the location on March 30.

A short time after the murder, Bell tried to pawn a Taurus 9mm handgun.

Bell is serving 25 years for second-degree murder and three years for armed criminal action and abandoning a corpse. The sentences must run consecutively.

If you have any information about a crime, you may contact your local police department directly. But if you want or need to remain anonymous, you should contact the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com. Depending on your tip, Crime Stoppers could offer you a cash reward.

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