Federal Authorities Exhume Body of Alonzo Brooks, Whose 2004 Death May Have Been Racially Motivated
The Kansas man's untimely death was recently featured on Netflix’s new Unsolved Mysteries reboot
Federal authorities have exhumed the body of 23-year-old Alonzo Brooks, a Kansas man who died under mysterious circumstances in 2004, and was recently featured on an episode of Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries reboot.
“I can confirm the body was exhumed today as part of the Brooks investigation,” U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Jim Cross tells PEOPLE.
Brooks’ body was found in a creek in La Cygne on May 1, 2004, a few weeks after he attended a party with friends at a farmhouse on the outskirts of the rural town.
“We are looking at this as a suspicious death,” FBI spokesperson Bridget B. Patton tells PEOPLE.
Last year, the FBI reopened Brooks' case and last month they offered a $100,000 reward for information about his death.
Federal authorities said they are investigating Brooks’ death as a possible racially motivated crime.
“Likely multiple people know what happened that night in April 2004,” U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a statement last month. “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.”
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“There are many unanswered questions that surround Alonzo’s death,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy 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.”
According to federal authorities, Brooks attended the party with friends. He was one of three Black men in attendance at the party of over 100 people.
Authorities said his friends left the party before him, leaving Brooks without a ride home.
He was reported missing the following day.
Brooks was later found on top of a pile of brush and branches in a creek by a group of his family and friends. An autopsy could not determine his cause of death.
However, family and friends have long believed that he was a victim of foul play.
“There are people who know the answers, people who have been keeping terrible secrets all these years and bearing a horrible burden,” McAllister said. 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.”
Langan said the FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 to anyone who has information about Brooks’ disappearance. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the FBI at 816-512-8200 or 816-474-TIPS or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.