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FBI launching hate crime awareness campaign, shining new attention on cold case murder of Alonzo Brooks

By JoBeth Davis

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    LACYGNE, Kansas (KMBC) — A new FBI campaign is hoping to draw more attention to hate crimes and the reporting of such incidents to law enforcement. At the center of the campaign is a Kansas City-area cold case from 2004.

Alonzo Brooks was 23 years old when he went missing after going to a party in La Cygne, Kansas.

A month later, his body was found in a creek not far from where the party was held.

In the 19 years since his death, there have been no arrests, no charges, and no answers for what happened to Brooks.

In 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas and the FBI reopened the investigation into Brooks’ death, which had been dormant for years.

Friends told police Brooks went to a party at a home on the outskirts of Ly Cygne with a group of friends. He was one of only three African-American men at the party of more than 100 people.

Brooks, a Gardner, Kansas, resident, rode to the party with a group of friends, but they left before him. Brooks wound up with no ride home.

When Brooks didn’t come home the next day, friends and family contacted the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

Multiple law enforcement agencies reportedly searched areas around the farmhouse, including parts of the nearby Middle Creek, but Brooks was nowhere to be found.

After he had been missing for nearly a month, his friends and family organized a search. They found Alonzo’s body in just under an hour, partially on top of brush and a pile of branches in the creek.

A Linn County coroner was unable to determine Alozo’s cause of death.

When his case was reopened by the FBI, Alonzo’s body was exhumed in 2020 and taken to the Dover Air Force Base where an Armed Forces Medical Examiner ruled his cause of death was homicide.

Since 2020, the FBI has been offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, prosecution, and conviction of those responsible for Alonzo’s death.

In the Kansas City area, Alonzo’s information will be featured on area transit buses and on seven different billboards along Interstate 70, Interstate 35, and Interstate 435.

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