Family finds young man shot in his apartment just days before his 26th birthday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro area family is searching for answers after Jacob Skowronski was found dead in his apartment.

On Feb. 4, Kansas City Police were called to an apartment in the 9800 block of Hedges Avenue in regard to a dead body. Upon arrival, police spoke with the victim's parents who had stopped by their son’s apartment to drop off some of his belongings. They found the front door unlocked and Jacob inside laying on the floor with a gunshot wound.

“It’s hard to find the words to describe everything that we have gone through this week. This has been an absolute nightmare,” said Heather Taylor, Jacob’s sister.

Taylor describes her brother as kind, compassionate, and brilliant.

"He loved to learn; he loved to read; he had a huge heart; he was so compassionate. He appreciated every detail of life."

Jacob competed in debate at Lee’s Summit West High school. Family members say he graduated with honors then went on to attend the University of Missouri. He loved outdoor activities like wakeboarding and skiing. Jacob also loved gardening and playing guitar. His family members were devastated to learn of Jacob’s death, and the manner in which he died.

“No fathers should have to pick out his son's casket. No mother should have to see her son lying dead in one, and no parent should have to bury their baby,” said Heather.

The painful news came just days before Jacob's 26th birthday.

“It's a nightmare. We've already had to endure his special day without him. He should have been here to celebrate and somebody took that from him,” Heather said.

Jacob’s family members say they won't rest until the person responsible for Jacob's death is caught.

“Something like this doesn't just happen and nobody knows anything about it. There is somebody out there that knows something, and there is a family right now that is hurting for justice, that is hurting for answers,” said Chris.

“To help encourage that, so that people will come forward we’re offering a $5,000 reward for anybody with any information that leads to the conviction of the person that did this to bring justice to Jacob and his family,” Chris added.

Kansas City police have no suspects in custody at this time. They have received three tips in the past week in connection to this case.

Anyone with information should call the police TIPS hotline at (816) 474-8477.