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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