Tipster has KC police looking for killer, victim from 1980s

Thursday, July 22, 2004

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- They don't have a body, a missing person report, or even a name.

But Kansas City police are investigating a possible homicide from the mid-1980s, after a man came forward with detailed information about the victim, why he was killed, who had done it and where the body was dumped.

Police said they were skeptical at first, but began to believe the man because he had such specific information.

"The story seemed so convincing, you could not not believe him," said Detective Anthony Cooper of the cold case squad. "His information was detailed and flowed sequentially. The things we would expect him to recollect he did, and the things we didn't expect him to recollect, he didn't."

The man even took detectives to a remote, weedy bank of the Missouri River on Tuesday where the body supposedly was dumped. No human remains were found.

The lack of remains doesn't mean a homicide didn't occur, said Sgt. John Jackson of the cold case homicide squad, because two major floods hit the area since the 1980s.

Police are hoping someone will come forward who remembers an 18- or 19-year-old man who might have disappeared on a summer evening in 1984 or 1985 from the Century 37 apartments in Kansas City. The man was said to be white, of average height and weight with shoulder-length brown hair. He reportedly was from Riverside, and frequented Line Creek Park.

The tipster told police that the man had been killed after he and another man he had just met began arguing over a mutual acquaintance.

Police refused to reveal how the victim was killed.

Investigators were told that the victim's body was dumped near Riverside Park.

Police were unsure if the victim was ever reported missing. They have been searching missing person reports without success. Cooper said the man might have been reported missing in Riverside or another city, making it harder to find the report, if one exists.

Cooper acknowledged that the investigation was unusual.

"This guy literally just fell out of the sky," he said of the informant.

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