ALONZO BROOKS: Disappeared after leaving party in La Cygne, KS - 3 April 2004 / Body found 1 May 2004 - $100,000 Reward

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Alonzo Brooks was last seen on the evening of April 3, 2004 attending a party at a rural home outside of La Cygne, Kansas. His family reported him missing after he did'nt returned home. Alonzo's body was found in a nearby creek on May 1, 2004. He was 23 years old at the time of his murder.

Department of Justice and FBI are investigating Alonzo's death as a racially motivated hate crime.

 
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Scorpio

Well-known member

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Reward:
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the individual or individuals that may be responsible for Alonzo Brooks’ death.

Details:
Alonzo Brooks attended a party at a rural house outside of La Cygne, Kansas, the night of April 3, 2004. When Alonzo didn’t return home from the party, his family called authorities in Linn County, Kansas. The Linn County Sheriff’s Department launched a search.

Almost a month later, Alonzo was still missing when his family organized a search party of approximately 50 volunteers. On May 1, 2004, they found his body located in brush in a creek in Linn County. An autopsy was not able to determine the cause of death. Alonzo was 23 years old at the time of his death. He was described as being mild-mannered and a good-humored person.

Submit a Tip:
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the FBI Kansas City office at 816-512-8200 or the Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS or submit a tip online at “tips.fbi.gov”. You may also contact your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
 
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Scorpio

Well-known member
Sunday, September 5, 2010
The Mysterious Death of Alonzo Brooks
by Susan Schmitz and Paul Fecteau

On a remote back road in Linn County, a desolate farm house and the woods and creek that surround it hold a secret about the death of a young man. On an April night in 2004, this remote setting may have witnessed the foulest of deeds. A group of young people probably know what happened but to this day remain as silent as the trees that flank that forlorn creek.

Those young people came together at that rural home a couple miles outside of La Cygne in east central Kansas on the night of April 3 for a party. Quite a few of the guests came from out of town, including two carloads that made the trek down from the Kansas City suburb of Gardner. One of the young men in one of those cars was a 23-year-old African-American named Alonzo Brooks. He was one of only a few blacks at the party.

Brooks had graduated from Topeka High and moved to Gardner to work for his stepfather’s janitorial company. He had a reputation for being mild-mannered and good humored. He often babysat his nieces and nephews. He occasionally spoke of one day owning a farm.

On the night of the party, he dressed in a short-sleeved dress shirt, jeans, boots and a hat. His ride pulled up around eight. A white kid named Edward Smith, who accompanied Brooks that night, had long been a close and trusted friend.

At the party, Smith and Brooks remained together most of the time. Smith recalls nothing out of the ordinary. He and Alonzo talked, drank, danced a little, and got high.

Some time between midnight and one, Smith decided he wanted to go home. He called Brooks over and the two huddled beneath a tree, talking about what to do. Brooks decided he wanted to stay and could get a ride back with the other car that had come down from Gardner. Smith told him to have fun then drove home.

The next morning, Smith phoned Brooks and was shocked to hear his mother say that her son had not returned. Staying out all night was out of character for Alonzo. Worried, Smith immediately drove back to La Cygne. He walked into the farm house and quizzed the party’s hosts. They had not seen Alonzo, they said. When Smith returned to Gardner, he continued to try to contact kids who had been at the party. The owner of the other car that had gone to the party from Gardner confirmed that he had promised Alonzo a ride home--a promise he was unable to fulfill because he had left the party to get cigarettes and gotten into an accident.

Alonzo’s family notified the Linn County Sheriff’s Department, and in the days that followed their investigation did little to settle anyone’s fears. Party-goers provided sketchy information regarding a fight that may have taken place around 3 or 4 a.m. Some said racial slurs were hurled. Deputies visited the party house and nearby found Alonzo’s hat and boots. In the ensuing weeks, the F.B.I. joined the investigation because of the implications that Alonzo had been targeted because he was black. Kansas City Star reporter John Dvorak went to La Cygne and found the townspeople reluctant to believe that any of that hatred could be homegrown. They pointed to a rumor circulating that the authorities had a suspect who came from Nebraska.

Smith learned little else from the kids who had stayed at the party that night and turned his attention to helping the family in its efforts to keep Alonzo’s disappearance in the public eye. Kansas City mayor pro-tem Alvin Brooks, no relation to Alonzo, and his anti-crime group Move Up got involved. Family members circulated T-shirts and posters that bore Alonzo’s picture and the phrase “Lost but NOT Forgotten.”

The authorities conducted six searches of the land surrounding the party house. Low-flying helicopters buzzed the tree tops. Sherriff’s deputies marched through the brush shoulder to shoulder. Cadaver-sniffing dogs were brought in. Divers from Lee’s Summit Underwater Rescue and Recovery explored the muddy bottom nearby of Middle Creek. These efforts produced nothing. No more searches were planned.

On May 1, with Alonzo gone nearly a month, more than fifty family members and friends, many from Topeka, arrived to conduct their own search. They outfitted themselves in orange vests, passed out walkie-talkies, and prepared for a long day. It took less than an hour, however, before they discovered Alonzo’s body.

A group approached Middle Creek and saw the body lying on a tangle of brush.

The remains were transported to Shawnee County where seasoned pathologist Dr. Erik Mitchell performed the autopsy. He found nothing indicating that Brooks had suffered any fatal wounds. His report listed the cause of death as undefined. Not all aspects of his findings have been made public.

Linn County Sheriff Marvin Sites initially declared that Brooks had been murdered, but a few days later retracted that statement and stipulated that his office was conducting a death investigation. The location where the body was found had been previously searched numerous times, Sites acknowledged. His account of how the body wound up where it did was a little cryptic: “Nature had to take its course,” he said.

The subsequent investigation seemed to stall quickly. The F.B.I. ceased its involvement due to lack of evidence that a hate crime had been committed. The case slipped from the headlines. Edward Smith was left to muse over what might have happened to his best friend, and Alonzo’s family had to go on with a hole in their lives where their loved one had been.

Now, over six years later, their loss remains as painful as ever, but Alonzo’s friends and family have not given up hope. Neither has current Linn County Sheriff Barry Walker. The investigation remains active and buoyed by the chance that someone who was at the party that terrible night will put aside whatever fear or misplaced loyalty might be preventing him or her from coming forward. If you have any information that could help, please contact the Linn County Sheriff’s Department at (913) 795-2665.

Editor’s Note: The name “Edward Smith” has been used to conceal the privacy of the individual to whom it refers.
 

Scorpio

Well-known member

U.S. Attorney, FBI Announce $100,000 Reward in Cold Case

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the death of Alonzo Brooks. Brooks’ body was found in a creek in La Cygne, Kan., on May 1, 2004.

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister and FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Langan announced the reward during a press conference here today. McAllister and the FBI reopened the investigation over a year ago. They have reviewed evidence going back 16 years, re-interviewed many witnesses who attended a party at a farmhouse where Brooks was last seen alive, interviewed new witnesses and collected all available physical and forensic evidence.

“We are investigating whether Alonzo was murdered,” McAllister said. “His death certainly was suspicious, and someone, likely multiple people, know(s) what happened that night in April 2004. It is past time for the truth to come out. The code of silence must be broken. Alonzo’s family deserves to know the truth, and it is time for justice to be served.”

“There are many unanswered questions that surround Alonzo’s death,” Langan said. “Someone knows something and we are hopeful that with the passage of time and this significant reward this renewed effort will produce results and provide closure for the Brooks family.”

The FBI is investigating Brooks’ death as a potential racially-motivated crime. Brooks, who was 23 years old at the time he died, was one of only three African-American men at the party he attended with approximately 100 people at a farmhouse on the outskirts of La Cygne. Brooks, who lived in Gardner, Kan., rode to the party with friends, but they left before him, and Brooks eventually had no ride home.
When Brooks failed to come home the next day, his family and friends contacted the Linn County Sheriff’s Department.

From the beginning, there were rumors that Brooks had been the victim of foul play. Some said Brooks may have flirted with a girl, some said drunken white men wanted to fight an African-American male, and some said racist whites simply resented Brooks’ presence.

After the party, two troubling facts were indisputable: Alonzo could not be found; and no one who attended the party would admit to knowing what happened to him.
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 Alonzo.
After Alonzo 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 Alonzo’s body, partially on top of a pile of brush and branches in the creek.

Because Alonzo died in 2004 and because of the lapse of time between his disappearance and discovery of his body, forensic analysis of the physical evidence at the time was limited. The official autopsy performed in 2004 did not determine a cause of death.

“I have stood under the trees on the bank of Middle Creek where Alonzo’s body was found,” McAllister said. “It is a quiet place of profound sadness to one who knows its history, but no answers are there. I am convinced, however, that there are people who know the answers, people who have been keeping terrible secrets all these years and bearing a horrible burden. We are asking one or more of them to come forward now and to lay down that burden at last, so that we can ease a family’s suffering, and serve the cause of justice.”

This reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the individual or individuals that may be responsible for Alonzo’s death. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the FBI at 816-512-8200 or 816-474-TIPS or submit a tip online at fbi.tips.gov
 

Scorpio

Well-known member

$100K reward being offered in possible racially-motivated murder in Kansas
Nick Sloan ,Nathan Vickers,Zoe Brown
Posted on Jun 11, 2020

KANSAS CITY, KS. (KCTV) -- A $100,000 reward is now being offered for information in connection to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the death of Alonzo Brooks.

Brooks' body was found in a creek in LaCygne, Kansas, in May 2004. He had attended a party with friends and never made it home. Then, his body was found weeks later. The FBI is investigating the death as a "potential racially-motivated crime." He was 23 at the time of his death.

“We are investigating whether Alonzo was murdered,” U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said. “His death certainly was suspicious, and someone, likely multiple people, know(s) what happened that night in April 2004. It is past time for the truth to come out. The code of silence must be broken. Alonzo’s family deserves to know the truth, and it is time for justice to be served.”

At the time, local police ruled Brooks' death suspicious. A 2004 autopsy did not determine a cause of death for Brooks.

He had been one of just three black people at the party in rural Kansas near LaCygne. Witnesses reported racial slurs, threats, and fights targeted at Brooks that night. However, an arrest was never made.

Brooks' family and friends found his body, not law enforcement. He had been missing for a month. His family has been waiting for answers ever since.

There are so many questions about that night, but for years no one would speak up about what happened. Now, the FBI and federal prosecutors are hoping that the $100,000 reward will help bring answers for the family.

On Thursday at the federal courthouse in KCK, investigators announced that the FBI is now getting involved and reopening the case.

Brooks’ family was at the courthouse, too, and said it's been a long and frustrating 16 years. “Every day, every holiday, every birthday, we've wondered what happened to him,” said Billy Brooks, Alonzo’s father. “We'd like to know.”

“I just want justice for me, and I want to want to know what happened to my son,” said Alonzo’s mother Maria Ramirez.

McAllister said he began reopening the case last year after filmmakers approached him. Netflix is launching an unsolved mystery series covering Brooks' death in July. A filmmaker with local ties has been gathering interviews with family. McAllister said that in the process of reopening the case, investigators have discovered new information that could help bring closure.

“There have been positive developments,” he said. “It's not just rehashing old ground.”

“I'm grateful the FBI is stepping in now,” said Alonzo’s father. “We thank you.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the FBI at 816-512-8200 or 816-474-TIPS or submit a tip online at fbi.tips.gov
 

Scorpio

Well-known member
La Cygne, Kansas



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La Cygne is a city situated along the Marais des Cygnes River in the northeast part of Linn County, located in East Central Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,149. Wikipedia
 

GrandmaBear

‘We Have Nothing to Fear Except Fear Itself'
From above: "Deputies visited the party house and nearby found Alonzo’s hat and boots." Interesting that it does not say "in" the house but nearby. This alone would make it appear to be foul play. Why would he remove his boots and then walk? Doesn't make sense. I wonder if they fingerprinted them, etc. I hope this family gets answers and sees justice.
 

Guess Who

Well-known member
From above: "Deputies visited the party house and nearby found Alonzo’s hat and boots." Interesting that it does not say "in" the house but nearby. This alone would make it appear to be foul play. Why would he remove his boots and then walk? Doesn't make sense. I wonder if they fingerprinted them, etc. I hope this family gets answers and sees justice.
that along with reports of a fight that night
 

Guess Who

Well-known member
I wonder how big this group is that is keeping quiet/lying?
La Cygne was definitely much more rural in 2004 so I am wondering who all in this party has connections since we all know how it's hard to keep anything quiet in a small town. A lot of Good Ol Boy going on, I believe
 

GrandmaBear

‘We Have Nothing to Fear Except Fear Itself'
La Cygne was definitely much more rural in 2004 so I am wondering who all in this party has connections since we all know how it's hard to keep anything quiet in a small town. A lot of Good Ol Boy going on, I believe
Yeah, I wonder why they even went to this party so rural. It sounds like the town clammed up in general. Connections in small towns, we all know those often exist no doubt...
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
Follow Clues & Close Cases in Netflix's 'Unsolved Mysteries'

Unsolved Mysteries is back. Are you ready to follow the clues?

From the original docuseries creators Cosgrove/Meurer Productions and Stranger Things producers 21 Laps Entertainment comes a modern take on the classic series. Each episode on Netflix focuses on one mystery and asks viewers to help close the case. The first half of the season drops on July 1, and the streaming service has released the official trailer.



"No Ride Home": "Alonzo Brooks, 23, never returned home from a party he attended with friends in the predominantly white town of La Cygne, Kansas. A month later, a search party led by his family locates Alonzo's body — in an area that law enforcement had already canvassed multiple times. The FBI recently reopened the case and on June 11, announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any responsible parties in Alonzo's death."
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
Alonzo's case, and others, are now streaming on Netflix. I'm going to check it out this week.


'Unsolved Mysteries': What to Know About Alonzo Brooks's Potential Hate Crime Case

The FBI and Department of Justice have reopened the case of Alonzo Brooks, who attended a party in La Cygne, Kansas, in East Central Kansas, on an April night in 2004 and never returned. His body was found in a creek a month later. He was 23 years old. His story is also featured on the reboot of the Netflix series Unsolved Mysteries.

On June 11, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister and FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Langan announced that the FBI is reopening the investigation. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 to anyone who knows anything about Brooks's disappearance. The decision to reopen Alonzo's case is potentially motivated by the case being featured on Unsolved Mysteries.

"We are investigating whether Alonzo was murdered," McAllister told KSNT. "His death certainly was suspicious, and someone, likely multiple people, know(s) what happened that night in April 2004. It is past time for the truth to come out. The code of silence must be broken. Alonzo's family deserves to know the truth, and it is time for justice to be served."https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/unsolved-mysteries-know-alonzo-brookss-192000262.html#
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
Netflix’s ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ brings tips in 2004 cold case death of Alonzo Brooks in Kansas

Netflix’s reboot of the wildly popular series “Unsolved Mysteries” has brought in numerous tips for the FBI, which last month offered a $100,000 reward in the baffling death of a Black man found in a Kansas creek in 2004.

USA Today reported that producers of the rebooted crime-solving series had netted at least 20 credible tips on various cases within the first 24 hours after the show’s July 1 premiere. Three of those tips were related to the death of Alonzo Brooks.


“The code of silence must be broken. Alonzo’s family deserves to know the truth, and it is time for justice to be served.”


If the current success of the new “Unsolved Mysteries” is any indication, Brooks’ case could very well be solved. According to USA Today, the show ranked as the top TV series on Netflix last Thursday. Thus far, six episodes are available for streaming and another six will be available later this year.
 

kdg411

Administrator
Staff member
After the case remained unsolved for years, the FBI began investigating it in 2019 as a possible hate crime and Brooks’ death was featured on “Unsolved Mysteries.” A $100,000 reward was announced in June.

Now the FBI has an update in the investigation. On Friday, the agency said investigators have talked to people not previously interviewed in the case and learned of a second party on the April night he disappeared.

“Through interviews, investigators have learned that a confrontation occurred at the nearby party, and many of the attendees left that gathering and joined the party at the farmhouse where Brooks was present,” according to the FBI.
 

SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

Administrator
Staff member
After the case remained unsolved for years, the FBI began investigating it in 2019 as a possible hate crime and Brooks’ death was featured on “Unsolved Mysteries.” A $100,000 reward was announced in June.

Now the FBI has an update in the investigation. On Friday, the agency said investigators have talked to people not previously interviewed in the case and learned of a second party on the April night he disappeared.

“Through interviews, investigators have learned that a confrontation occurred at the nearby party, and many of the attendees left that gathering and joined the party at the farmhouse where Brooks was present,” according to the FBI.
HOW in the world did that manage to stay a "secret" for 15 years?!?! NOBODY in the course of the investigation mentioned "when the other people showed up"? NOBODY mentioned their names? The first thing you'd do in this investigation is try to find out every single person that was there. You'd think.
 

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