New autopsy report points to murder in 2004 death of Alonzo Brooks in Kansas; may have been racially motivated
A new autopsy report points to murder in the cold case death of Alonzo Brooks, who went missing 17 years ago after a party in rural Kansas.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation had reopened the case and exhumed his body in 2019 after the 23-year-old’s unsolved death was featured on the reboot of “Unsolved Mysteries” on Netflix. They also offered a $100,000 reward for information.
They are investigating it as a homicide and possible hate crime.
Brooks’ case was again featured last year, this time in “Cold Case Spotlight,” a “Dateline” series, according to NBC News.
His body was examined at Dover Air Force Base, the FBI told NBC News and other outlets on Monday, and the autopsy report concluded that his death was a homicide. The examination revealed injuries on Brooks’ body that were inconsistent with the level of decomposition at the time, the FBI said.
“We knew that Alonzo Brooks died under very suspicious circumstances,” Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “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.”
Brooks had disappeared in 2004 after attending a party in rural Kansas. While he had arrived with three other Black friends, they had left before him, leaving him with no ride home.
When he didn’t return home, his family and friends reported him missing to the Linn County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement last July. There were always rumors of foul play, and Brooks was nowhere to be found. In addition, “no one who attended the party would admit to knowing what happened to him,” the DOJ said, even though there had been about 100 people at the party.
A month after Brooks went missing, his family went looking and found him in under an hour, his body atop a pile of brush and branches in the creek, in an area that had already been searched.
Investigators vowed not to rest until the crime has been solved.
“The FBI’s commitment to justice remains at the forefront of each and every investigation,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Langan. “Our reach is broad, and the strength of our investigative tools are exceptional. We remain dedicated to uncovering the truth surrounding the murder of Alonzo Brooks and ensuring those responsible are held accountable for their actions.”