KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sources say an eyewitness led police to the spot where 3-year-old Olivia Jansen’s body was found Friday near 34th and Steele Road.
The KCK girl’s body was found in what police describe as a shallow grave off a path in a wooded area about nine hours after her father, Howard Jansen III, reported her missing Friday.
Sources tell FOX4 if it weren’t for an alert neighbor, Olivia’s body may have never been found.
Family of the eyewitness say he’s on the autism spectrum and didn’t want to talk, but a neighbor who helped him contact police told FOX4 her story.
“He was out doing stuff in the yard,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.
She lives near the eyewitness and said he told her that he saw a silver SUV parked by the path around 7:30 a.m. Friday, one hour before Olivia’s father reported her missing.
The man became concerned after seeing video of a silver SUV, allegedly belonging to Jansen’s girlfriend, in a news story about Olivia’s disappearance later that day.
The woman said her neighbor told her: “I thought it was really weird. It was only there for about 10 minutes and then two people got in and took off and peeled off down the street.”
“I said, well you need to go call the TIPS line or something, and he was like, ‘I don’t know how to go about that,'” the woman told FOX4. “So I said, ‘I will take care of it.’ So that’s when I went directly to the police barriers they had up on South 42nd and Gibbs, and I told an officer and they took it from there.”
Shortly after that tip, Olivia’s body was found with what sources say was bruises on her face. It appeared she was beaten.
“If you know something, say it. Don’t be afraid,” the woman said Monday.
Jansen originally told police he last saw his daughter when he went to bed at 11 p.m. Thursday at his home near 44th and Gibbs Road. When he woke up at 5:30 a.m. Friday, he said she was gone and the door was open. He reported her missing at 8:30 a.m.
Family members told FOX4 that Jansen and his daughter have not lived in the Gibbs Road house for six months. They said they lived at a home near South 48th and Ottawa with Jansen’s girlfriend, Jacqulyn Kirkpatrick.
Both Jansen and Kirkpatrick have been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child endangerment and unauthorized control of a dead body in Olivia’s death.
Police are still gathering information about this case, so if you know anything, even if it seems insignificant, please contact the KCK Police or call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.