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KCK 3-year-old Olivia Jansen's body found, father arrested

Howard Jansen III booked for murder, child abuse
Howard Jansen III.jpg
Olivia Jansen memorial.jpg
Olivia Ann Jansen
Olivia Ann Jansen.jpg
Olivia Ann Jansen
Posted at 10:27 AM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 23:55:49-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Authorities said they have found the body of 3-year-old Olivia Ann Jansen in Kansas City, Kansas.

Her father, 29-year-old Howard Jansen III, was arrested and booked into the Wyandotte County Detention Center late Friday night on a 48-hour hold, pending charges of first-degree murder and abuse of a child. He also was being held on a warrant originated from KCK.

An Amber Alert had been issued for the girl late Friday morning. The Missouri State Highway Patrol canceled it just before 6:30 p.m., saying Olivia had been found dead.

Search crews that included KCK police, families and friends searched for Olivia throughout the day.

KCK police spokesman Officer Tom Tomasic said authorities found a body believed to be Olivia's around 5:45 p.m. after receiving several tips about the location. The body was located in a wooded area near a walking trail and Tomasic said he believed it had been buried.

The FBI is assisting KCK police with the crime scene as it turns from a missing persons case to criminal investigation.

"They’re going to take this one very slowly,” Tomasic said, noting that investigators will process the scene “and get every piece of evidence possible” to assist with any possible future prosecution.

Tomasic said it was hard to know when charges might be filed for her death, but “we will make sure that the person responsible for this is charged.”

After a long day of searching, this isn’t the outcome for which the family, police and the community hoped.

“It hits home for all of us. This is not what we want, obviously,” Tomasic said.

Earlier Friday, the Amber Alert was issued after Olivia’s family reported her missing from her home in the 4400 block of Gibbs Road.

KCKPD said there were several inconsistencies in stories from people investigators interviewed throughout the day.

Her father told police when he woke up around 6:30 a.m., Olivia was not home and the back door of the residence was open.

The family reportedly didn’t realize she was missing until 7:30 a.m., and waited another hour to report it to police at 8:30 a.m.

Police initially said they believed Olivia’s family was searching for her during that time.

Because of her age and a search of the area, investigators determined early on she’d been taken from the scene.

Authorities said her father reported last seeing her around 11 p.m. Thursday.

At a news conference Friday afternoon, KCK police said investigators also had searched a second nearby residence associated with the child's father in the 4800 block of Ottawa Street.

The police spokesman said Olivia's mother is currently incarcerated but did not provide additional details. Her father was at the police department and cooperating with the investigation.

There is no known suspect at this time.

On Friday afternoon, law enforcement sources confirmed to 41 Action News that a car belonging to the father's girlfriend was towed by investigators.

Police conducted a neighborhood canvass and checked area cameras. Dogs and drones were also deployed in the search.

Multiple agencies, including the FBI, are involved in the investigation, which a KCK police spokesman described as "fluid" and "broad."

Anyone with information should call the KCK Police Department at 913-596-3000 or the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline at 816-474-8477 (TIPS).

This story will be updated.