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Man charged in 2018 murder of Vernece Brown

Vernece Brown.jpg
Posted at 9:49 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 22:51:33-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It's a murder mystery that took three years to solve.

Mushroom hunters found 18-year-old Vernece Brown's body in a Cass County field in April 2018.

Police, family and friends spent the previous two months pleading for help in finding Brown.

She was last seen leaving her home on February 14, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri, according to court documents.

The documents say an examination of her body revealed distinct tattoos that led Cass County detectives to contact detectives from the missing persons unit of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.

Those tattoos, which included the word Gemini, helped medical examiners identify Brown's body.

Detectives studied cell phone records, social media posts and other clues that led them to a suspect.

Kenneth Wilson was already in a Missouri prison cell after he pleaded guilty in May 2018 to stealing a car and leading Riverside police officers on a car chase, court records state.

Law enforcement officers went earlier this month to the Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri.

They began to conduct an interview with Wilson, 32, about a missing persons case, but he quickly told them he wouldn't answer any questions without an attorney and left the room.

Cass County prosecutors charged Wilson on Wednesday with first degree murder.

“I am very proud of the work our deputies and investigators did in this case. Hard work by determined investigators identified a suspect and led to these charges,” said Sheriff Jeff Weber in a news release from the sheriff's department.

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.