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Lee’s Summit man charged in KC murder where woman was found dead in street

Rafael Armstrong

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  With help from DNA testing, a Lee’s Summit man is now facing charges in the August 2018 murder of a Kansas City woman.

Rafael Armstrong, 30, has been charged with first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of armed criminal action in the death of Cyrenaico Lange.

Rafael Armstrong

Court documents say police were called just after 3 a.m. Aug. 5, near 107th and Greedwood, where they found Lange lying dead in the street. She suffered several gunshot wounds, police said. Shell casings were found around her body, along with Lange’s cell phone and a pair of wireless earbuds.

Police analyzed the victim’s cell phone and allegedly found a call from Armstrong just after midnight.

Lange’s family told investigators the 30-year-old used to live with Lange and he still kept some personal items in her storage unit, court records say. A friend also told police Armstrong routinely sold Lange drugs and allegedly kept a firearm in her storage unit, according to court documents.

Police said they received an anonymous tip that Armstrong was the suspect. The tipster said the deadly shooting stemmed from an argument when Armstrong confronted Lange about a gun he kept in the storage unit that was now missing.

Five days later, Armstrong was arrested at a metro motel on an unrelated felony warrant.

Police found a stolen gun under a mattress at the motel. Ballistic testing matched that stolen gun to the shell casings found at the murder scene, court documents say, and DNA testing from the gun’s grip matched Armstrong’s DNA.

Additionally, DNA testing of the earbuds found at the scene matched Armstrong’s DNA, police said. Court records also say Armstrong’s cell phone records show his phone hitting off a tower in the area of the murder.

Armstrong has previously been convicted of first-degree robbery, which resulted in the unlawful possession of a weapon charge. Prosecutors have requested a $500,000 cash bond.

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