KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- They tried to put their son on the police’s radar before he went missing, but officers turned them away. A week later, he was found dead.
David and Vicki Greenwood have no concrete answers about their son’s murder.
“We’ve heard all kinds of rumors, but do we know? No. We have no idea," David Greenwood said.
They said 26-year-old Justin Graham was a good kid with a bit of a record.
“He got in a little trouble here in there, but just little stuff. Misdemeanor stuff and that was it,” his father said.
“We didn’t really worry about him a lot because he always stayed in contact with us, especially his mother. He called his mother almost daily," David said.
“That kid in 26 years has never not returned a call or not returned my text. Ever," his mother said.
It’s why the pair knew something was wrong this summer when they couldn’t reach him.
“Justin’s last post was on July 25," Vicki said. "I posted on there, looking for Justin: ‘If you see him, have him call his mom.’ It went on about a week.”
In that week, they drove from Branson where they live to Kansas City and asked police for help. Vicki said she felt the officer was patronizing and looked down on her son because he had a record.
“She looked straight at her computer and said, ‘Well, I can tell you he’s not in my jail.’ And I said, 'Well, I can tell you he’s not in jail. He’s not at the hospital. He’s not at the coroner.’ I called the freaking coroner’s office before they found my son.”
Police didn't take a missing persons report. They found him dead a week later in a field near 17th Street and White Avenue. Justin had been shot.
“What makes that even harder is if they would’ve just given us the respect to file a missing persons report, yeah, it might not have saved our son, but it might have given us a chance to find him soon enough that we could’ve at least identified our son,” David said.
Vicki said police told her they didn’t recommend her seeing her son because his body was decomposed.
His parents believe Justin's death was somehow related to someone he ran around with.
“The worst part of it that irritates me is that I know Justin has done stupid stuff for his friends, and I know one of his friends know what happened to my son," David said.
Detectives said they need someone to tell them the truth about what happened to Justin Graham.
"There’s no justification for what happened to Justin in this case," Det. Kevin Boehm said. "And regardless of what his past experiences were, that’s no indication that they’re not going to investigate this to the fullest."
Police say they didn’t take a missing persons report because Justin’s case didn’t meet the criteria, which is set by state law. Tap/click here to read KCPD's policy.
If you have information that could help police, you're asked to call the Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. You can also submit a tip online here. All tips are anonymous.