OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Overland Park police are investigating its fifth homicide of 2014 and the case is proving to be difficult. The reason: A body found Sunday at about 3 p.m. had been in a home for weeks, possibly months.
Concerned neighbors called police Sunday afternoon in the 7900 block of W. 75th Street. When they arrived, they knew something wasn't right and forced their way in, that’s when they found the decomposing body.
The victim has been identified as Chidozie "Joe" Ojiaka, 51, who was the registered owner of the home.
“This case, there's a lot of unusual factors that we are having to look into,” said OPPD Public Information Officer Gary Mason.
“We do know who lived there at that point, was a person who didn’t have a lot of contact with relatives in the area, things like that,” Officer Mason said on Monday.
In addition to waiting for test results to come back, police have been knocking on doors.
“They had a picture and were looking for someone, and I had never seen that person before and do not know those neighbors,” said neighbor Laura Lee.
Lee knew something was going on Sunday afternoon.
“There were several police cars down the street and then there was a van that came, and there were two men in white suits coming in and out of the house,” she explained.
The investigators in the white suits were back Monday afternoon.
“We have a team out there with a search warrant going through the house combing for evidence, just piece-by-piece trying to locate as much stuff as we can,” Officer Mason said.
One of main reasons for the suits and the masks was that the body had been in the house for some time, one of the tell-tale signs was the hundreds of flies on the windows.
“This is a time-frame, could be weeks, could be months and you know, we are kinda working backwards, trying to piece it together
Even though the time of death remains unknown, police are hopeful there’s someone out there that could help with the investigation. If you remember something happening in this area a few weeks, possibly a few months ago, police do want to hear from you. They are asking anyone who may have information about the crime to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS or the department at (913) 344-8769.