Police find body in vacant lot near 45th and Virginia

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Police found the body of a black man in his 30s in a vacant lot between two homes on Saturday morning in the 4500 block of Virginia Ave.

Police haven't yet determined the cause of the man's death but are investigating it as a homicide.

Later that afternoon, the SWAT team served a search warrant on an apartment near the scene. A detective on the scene did confirm that the warrant was in relation to the homicide earlier that day. Police did not arrest anyone, but did take several brown paper bags of evidence out of the unit.

Neighbors who live near the area said they are not surprised at all about what happened Saturday.

"I can't even sit out on my porch if I wanted to," said Rebecca Hill. She lives down the road from where the body was found. "I can't do that at night because I'm afraid. What's going to happen? Is there going to be a drive by? What's going to happen? I don't know," she said.

Hill told WDAF that she is no stranger to violence and has been shot several times. She said she always walks with her boyfriend and pepper spray to keep herself safe. She is fed up with the violence.

"There's kids that live in this neighborhood," she said. "I don't want my kids growing up saying, 'hey it's okay to shoot.'"

Lavesse Perkins used to live on the 4500 block of Virginia Avenue - the same block where the body was found. She said her home was robbed several times and called police hoping they could do something. In the end, the robberies were just too much.

"I had to pack up and move my family to a different part of the area," Perkins said. "What's going to be done?"

She said one of her old neighbors called her this morning to tell her there was a body in her front gate.

"That's ridiculous," she said. "I think it's totally ridiculous."

Perkins said police do not patrol the area at night when most of the crimes happen. She is speaking out for a greater police presence in the neighborhood.

Police are still searching for information about what happened near 45th and Virginia Saturday morning and are asking anyone with information to call the TIPS line at (816) 474-8477.

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