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Arrowhead death ruled a homicide by medical examiner

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Jackson County Medical Examiner has officially categorized the death of Kyle Van Winkle, who died Sunday after he was found unconscious in an Arrowhead Stadium parking lot, as a homicide.

The examination report has not yet been released, nor has the cause of his death.

Detectives have been working the case as a homicide, interviewing witnesses and three people they called 'persons of interest.' On Monday, detectives executed a search warrant at an Independence home which police said belonged to the man who allegedly punched Van Winkle. Police released him Monday afternoon.

A woman who was tailgating at Arrowhead during the Chiefs-Denver game Sunday said she tried to save Kyle Van Winkle’s life by performing CPR on him.

RELATED: Police identify man found unconscious at Arrowhead

Some witnesses to the incident, which was first reported as a possible car break-in, believe Van Winkle was not a car thief, but rather a drunk man who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Two witnesses who spoke to FOX 4 earlier this week said they believe alcohol may have had everything to do with the incident turning fatal, and said the alleged car burglar was knocked out cold. The couple, who only wanted to be identified as Kristi and Doyle, said the man who allegedly threw the punch, along with some of his friends, left the unconscious Van Winkle against a parked bus. Kristi said she then tried to assist him.

"I said I need to check his pulse. I want to make sure he's okay, and they didn't want me to,” said Kristi. “They kept pushing me away like they didn't want me there, and I said, 'No I'm not leaving until you let me check his pulse.'”

Kristi said Van Winkle had a good pulse but just a few minutes later, someone yelled that he was turning blue. At that point, she said she ran over and started performing CPR.

Services for Van Winkle were announced on Wednesday. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 6 at 11 a.m. at First Christian Church of Smithville, 201 N. Bridge Street. Visitation is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The obituary says Van Winkle graduated from Belton High school and played football at William Jewell College. He was married in August 2011 and had a seven-week old son. In lieu of flowers, the family asks contributions be made to benefit the education of his son, William.

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RELATED: Detectives to search home possibly connected to Arrowhead death

Earlier coverage:

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  • Patti Krouse Drury

    So glad someone care enough to save a stranger’s life. People really should ask questions first before resulting to violence then they would have found out it was just the wrong vehicle. I have had that happen come out of a store and see a car that looks like mine mistakes happen no reason to hit the poor guy. Prayers for his family…heart breaking.

  • SC

    The frustration I feel over this incident is staggering. How does a person make peace with the knowledge of killing someone and finding out it was a mistake.. ? I am so sick of drunk people. Kyle was alive and now he’s not because of alcohol and a misunderstanding. Man, I can’t impressupon people enough my disgust. Heartache. No doubt there are details we don’t know yet. It just didn’t have to happen…

  • Kim

    This is so sad. I know people my self that that they got to ripped walked out to Arrowhead parking lot got in the car (thinking it was the right one and after about 10 minutes realised it was’nt and got out of there. I’m not a drinker and there’s not anything wrong with a few beers but when you add the innocents of the guy messed up getting in the wrong car and the idoits probably just as drunk and kick the shit out of him because they are pissed or because they can …..
    WE quit going to the Statium because it had turned into a drunk fest. So very sorry for the loss to this Family.

  • Keith

    I hope the three guys involved will be arrested and sent to prison for fighting and killing the man. People need to ask questions first before acting like total idiots. I really wish that alcohol would be banned completely at all events. There is no need for alcohol in stadiums and in the parking lots at tailgating. That is why there are taverns if they want to get something to drink afterwards. I gave up alcohol back in 1980 because of me growing up and being an adult to realize people do not need alcohol to be happy with their life.

  • Doug

    This is a tragedy, for sure. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Kyle’s family and friends. I actually know people who know his family. My frustration with this story, however, is the demonization of inanimate objects. When there’s a shooting, we want to blame the guns. When a drunk guy beats another drunk guy to death, we wan to ban alcohol. The demon here is in the hearts of men, not the tools they use as means to an end .This was a horrible 1-in-a-million case of “wrong place, wrong time”, but the people that beat him to death probably would have done the same if they were sober.

  • teri

    Those three men need to be charged for this crime. What a shame that their first impulse was to start hitting someone before finding out what was going on. And shame on all those who made negative comments earlier this week. This was a good man. Bless his family and new son.

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