KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNT) – A 2004 Kansas cold case death has been confirmed by the FBI Monday as a murder.

Authorities found Alonzo Brooks’ body in a creek in La Cygne, Kan. years ago. Crews removed his body in July 2020 from its Topeka grave and took it to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for further examination. The FBI said the Armed Forces Medical Examiner has now confirmed in their report that Brooks’ cause of death was murder.

“We knew that Alonzo Brooks died under very suspicious
circumstances. 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.”

Duston Slinkard, Acting U.S. Attorney

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas teamed up with federal agents to reopen Brooks’ 16-year-old cold case in 2019 as a suspected hate crime, according to the FBI. Brooks’ family says tips have come in since a recent Netflix documentary aired a special about his case. Brooks was 23 years old when he went to a party in La Cygne. He never came home and family members found his body weeks after he went missing.

A coroner in Linn County could not determine Brooks’ cause of death in the original investigation, according to the FBI. The federal agency said the focus of its new investigation is to determine if Brooks “was the victim of a racially-motivated killing.”

“He was one of only three African-American men at the party, which 100 or more people attended. Brooks, who lived in Gardner, Kan., rode to the party with friends. They left before him and he wound up with no ride home.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation

Alongside reopening the case, the FBI also announced a $100,000 reward for answers about Brooks’ murder. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 816-512-8200 or 816-474-TIPS.