A federal medical examiner ruled the death of a Kansas man whose body was discovered in a creek in 2004 a homicide, the FBI announced last week.
Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard said in a statement that the examination confirmed Alonzo Brooks’ death was not accidental. The latest autopsy noted that injuries on Brooks’ body were inconsistent with typical patterns of decomposition. Officials declined to disclose specific details about the report, citing an ongoing investigation.
Brooks, 23, vanished while attending a party at a farmhouse in La Cygne, Kansas, on April 3, 2004. His body was recovered from a creek bed in the same city on May 1, 2004. At the time, his body was so decomposed that the Linn County coroner could not ascertain his cause of death.
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas and the FBI reopened the investigation into Brooks’ death in 2019. “Unsolved Mysteries” covered the controversial case in an episode that aired last year on Netflix.
Brooks’ body was exhumed last July and transported to the Dover Air Force Base, where an Armed Forces Medical Examiner completed an autopsy that confirmed his death was a homicide.
Last year, months before the second autopsy, U.S. Attorney Steve McAllister reportedly said he was confident Brooks was murdered as he had advanced decomposition around his neck.
Brooks, who lived in Gardner, reportedly drove to the party in La Cygne with friends who ultimately left without him. His family reported him missing when he failed to come home the following day.
Friends and family have denied Brooks killed himself or drowned — and many suspect he was the victim of a hate crime. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas previously said Brooks was one of three African-Americans at the gathering attended by 100 other partygoers.
In November, federal authorities learned of an altercation at another party a mile-and-a-half from the farmhouse party Brooks attended, leading some attendees to go to that gathering.
“A lot of rather violent and aggressive partiers from that second party ended up at the farmhouse party, which was already having its own altercations,” McAllister told WDAF.