The story of violence in Kansas City through the eyes of those who see its aftermath

Posted at 2:55 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 19:38:44-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. –  There have been 99 homicides in Kansas City this year. With violence on the streets, there's a revolving door at two places -- the medical examiners office and the funeral home.

"I enjoy my job. I love what I do. Could I stand to investigate fewer homicides? Absolutely," said Jackson County Medical Examiner Diane Peterson.

There's no such thing as a typical day for Peterson.

"It ranges from the very rare day we have zero up to about 13 sometimes in a single day," she said.

More bodies have been on her examination table compared to last year. 

We've kept a running tally of the homicides around the metro area since 2015.

View the Kansas City Homicide Tracker here. 

"As a human, as a medical examiner, it is sad but the medical examiner side of me makes it more frustrating," she said. 

Peterson said a lot of these crimes are senseless.

"I have had homicides where the reason was over a jar of spaghetti sauce, a seven dollar bet, a case of Keystone Light, just things that a person should not lose their life from," she said. 

Some of the most recent homicides have gone from Peterson's examination table to Dimond Piggie's funeral home, Golden Gate Funeral Home and Crematory Services.  

"The back and forth, its just day after day," said Piggie.

In the same day, he worked with the family of Lee's Summit officer Thomas Orr and 18-year-old Roosevelt Cooper.

"I would rather kids to bury their parents than for parents to bury their kids," said Piggie. "The funeral business is my way of serving there community."

It hurts him to see the violence on the some of the same streets he grew up on.

Piggie said there's always an alternative to violence.

"Anyone can sit down and talk with anyone, we all have something in common. So if we can sit down and have a conversation, that would eliminate a lot of the violence," she said.