KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro family is outraged after being notified more than seven weeks after their loved one passed away. Now the family says the detectives and medical examiner's officer were negligent when it came to notifying next of kin.
“He had been found unresponsive at 22nd and Truman Road, in an alleyway between a convenience store and a building,” Sandy Kilkenny, Orman Enke’s ex-wife, said.
Enke Jr., 55, died June 15th. But his family says they had no idea he passed away until August 8th -- nearly two-months later.
“It would have been really nice if we could have known about it when it happened, at least had a memorial service with his body,” Kilkenny added.
Kilkenny and Enke divorced years ago, but remained friends. They have four children together. She says her ex-husband was an alcoholic and says the family wasn't always in contact with him.
“The kids have both tried, over time, to offer our help, and rehabilitation and that kind of thing, but it really got to the point where the alcoholism was winning,” Kilkenny said.
Kilkenny says police had her ex-husband's cell phone, and they could have used his fingerprints to notify them. Instead officers eventually tracked down her former sister-in-law, who lives in Florida.
According to her, police said they had difficulty finding Enke's family.
“We didn`t get any other explanation other than that,” Kilkenny added. “The last name is very uncommon, and so I don`t think it would have been difficult to find any of his relatives, and to have been able to find his next of kin.”
According to the Kansas City Missouri Police Department -- protocol is for officers to contact family at the victim's last known address.
In this case, the department says detectives located a possible family member in Grain Valley. Detectives knocked on the door, and after no one answered, they left a door hanger for the relative to call the detective.
Police say that family member admits to never making the call.
“If it could happen to someone who could so easily be found, I`m sure it`s happening to others who might be more difficult to find, with more common names. I really think there`s a responsibility on that end to find the people as soon as possible,” said Kilkenny.