LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Police have identified the victim in a homicide that happened on the side of the highway Saturday evening in Lee's Summit.
Cody M. Harter, 23, of St. Joseph, Mo. was found collapsed in the inner median on 291 Highway near the Interstate 470 merger, after drivers reported a man stumbling in traffic around 7:30 p.m. Harter died at the scene.
Police located Harter's truck not far away on the shoulder of the highway.
Detectives spoke to several witnesses who described what they saw as a possible road rage incident. Police said witnesses saw another vehicle stopped in front of Harter's truck, and Harter and another person arguing outside their vehicles.
Police said they believe Harter suffered a single stab wound to the chest during the altercation and stumbled back into the roadway, before he collapsed in the median.
Harter's family spoke at the news conference. They said Harter was a member of the Air National Guard.
"He did a tour over in Iraq and he was in Qatar," his mother said at a press conference on Sunday. "He helped with hurricane relief in Houston and Puerto Rico. He loved everyone. He would help anybody. He only had one semester left until he graduated with an engineering technology degree."
Harter's mother said he also owned a lawn care business and was an avid dirt bike racer. They made an emotional plea for anyone who may have seen something to come forward and help find Cody's killer.
"He brought us great joy. He knew great joy. He knew love," she said. "He knew adventure. He knew kindness, and now we know pain and loss. If you saw anything, even if you think it was nothing, please call. Please call to put the pieces together. Let's find who did this senseless act, so that you're not sitting here when it's your child. Please, please call."
Lee's Summit police said in a news conference they believe the suspect fled north on 291 after the stabbing.
Harter's truck is a maroon 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, extended cab Z71 edition. He had a large, zero turn mower in the bed of the truck at the time of the incident. Police are asking anyone traveling along I-470 Saturday evenight around 7:30 p.m., or anyone that may have seen the victim's truck heading north on 291 from 50-Highway to call Lee's Summit police at (816) 969-1705.