KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The death of a Kansas man whose body was found in a creek in La Cygne, Kansas, in 2004 was a homicide, according to a new report by a federal forensic examiner.
The FBI said as part of a continuing federal investigation into the death of Alonzo Brooks, his body was exhumed and taken to Dover Air Force Base for examination. The examiner’s report concludes that the case was a homicide.
“We knew that Alonzo Brooks died under very suspicious circumstances,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard. “This new examination by a team of the world’s best forensic pathologists and experts establishes it was no accident. Alonzo Brooks was killed. We are doing everything we can, and will spare no resources, to bring those responsible to justice.”
The new autopsy focuses on injuries to parts of Brooks’ body that the examiner concluded are inconsistent with normal patterns of decomposition. Details of the examination are being withheld for investigative purposes.
In 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas and the FBI reopened the investigation of Brooks’ death, which had been dormant for years.
As part of the new investigation, the FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for Brooks’ death.
In the initial investigation, a coroner in Linn County said he was unable to determine a cause of death and witnesses’ interviews failed to produce any arrests. The new investigation is focused on determining whether Brooks, a Black man who was 23 years old when he died, was the victim of a racially motivated killing.
Brooks was last seen alive in April 2004 during a party at a house on the outskirts of La Cygne. He was one of only three Black men at the party, which 100 or more people attended.
Brooks, who lived in Gardner, Kan., rode to the party with friends. They left before him and he wound up with no ride home. When Brooks failed to come home the next day, his family and friends contacted the Linn County Sheriff’s Department.
According to reports at the time, the sheriff’s department and other law enforcement agencies searched areas around the farmhouse, including parts of nearby Middle Creek, but did not find Brooks.
After Brooks had been missing for almost a month, a group of his family and friends organized a search. They began on the road near the farmhouse and walked the two branches of Middle Creek. In just under an hour, they found Brooks’ body, partially on top of a pile of brush and branches in the creek.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the FBI at 816-512- 8200 or 816-474-8477 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov