UPDATE 11/20: Kansas City, Kan. Police Chief Terry Ziegler tweeted Sunday that the death has since been classified as a drug overdose.
Kansas City, Kan. Police are investigating what they’re calling a “suspicious death” after a 26-year-old Hispanic male was found dead in his home Saturday afternoon.
A name hasn’t yet been released, but KCK Police said the man was found in his basement at the 200 block of South 8th Street around 11:30 AM.
"His roommate actually found him and due to his age and his environment he was found in, it is suspicious at this time,” said Officer Cameron Morgan, public information officer with Kansas City Kansas Police. "There has been a lot of activity on this block. Some gang bangers and graffiti and officers are aware of this neighborhood, and I don't know if that's related to this incident but we'll find out eventually."
The neighborhood has seemingly been a central location for recent crime. It was just three months ago a live grenade was found inside an un-registered, stolen, parked car at the exact same location.
"It's just very frightening,” said Michelle Burns, who lives next door.
Burns moved to the neighborhood from New York City earlier this year.
"It doesn't seem to be getting any better. It's like every day you're hearing about young people losing their lives and it's very sad,” she said. "Crime is gonna be everywhere, but I just did not think it was gonna be right here at my back door."
While police haven’t ruled on Saturday’s suspicious death yet, another homicide would be 43 in KCK so far this year, already ten more than in all of 2015 (33). Per capita, the homicides in KCK are also outpacing the homicides in KCMO (108 so far in 2016). KCK is currently at 29.1 homicides per 100,000 people, while KCMO is at 23.1 homicides per 100,000 people. According to the CDC, the national average in 2014 was 5.1.
KCKPD has released no other details involving Saturday’s crime. Anyone with information is urged to call 474-TIPS (8477).
Josh Helmuth can be reached at email@example.com