Unsolved: The Murder of Alonzo Brooks

Alonzo Brooks was born May 19, 1980 in Topeka, Kansas to Billy Brooks Sr and Maria Remierez. He was the youngest of 5 children with 3 sisters and 1 brother. He was of African American and Mexican descent. At the time of his disappearance, he was living in Gardner, Kansas with his mother.

On April 3, 2004 the 23 year old Brooks, who was normally more of a homebody and preferred to stay home and spend time with family, decided to go to a party in La Cygne, Kansas with 3 friends.

La Cygne is a small rural town in Kansas in Linn County. It is not known to be super friendly to those of other ethnic backgrounds. It is a small farming community with the population in 2004 being around 1,115 residents.

Once at the party in La Cygne, Alonzo seemed to be having fun for a while. However there are reports of a fight breaking out between Brooks and another party goer after Brooks appeared to be flirting with a white woman at the party. As well as racial slurs being said to Alonzo. He was one of only 3 black people at the party. One of the 3 friends that went to the party with him intervened and everyone walked away to enjoy the party.

After a couple hours at the party, Justin Sprague, the friend who drove Brooks to the party, left to go get cigarettes. He says he got lost going to find a convenience store, and by the time he found his way he decided to go home instead of back to the party. He then called another friend at the party to ask him to take Alonzo home. However, that story has changed numerous times by Justin himself. Slowly, 1 by 1 each of the 3 friends left the party, leaving Brooks there alone, with strangers, with no way to get the 50 miles back home. There are rumors that after all 3 friends had left, between 3 and 4 am, another fight broke out and Alonzo may have been involved.

When his mother got up the next morning, April 4, 2004 and realized her son was not home from the night before, she immediately knew something was wrong. Alonzo always made sure to let her know if he would not be home, which was very rare as he was the type that only slept well in his own bed. She started calling around to his friends and no one knew where he was.

Soon the family was on their way to La Cygne to look for Alonzo and contact authorities to report him missing. When family and friends got to the house the party was held at, there was no sign of Brooks there. However, just down the road one of his friends found his boots and hat he was wearing the night before on opposite sides of the road. No other sign of Brooks was present on the scene.

When the family went to the sheriff in town to report Alonzo missing, the sheriff stated that he was “probably just out walking around” and sent a deputy to go look around at the house the party had taken place at. The deputy reported finding nothing. Eventually the Linn County Sheriff Department called in the Kansas Bureau of Investigations (KBI) after failing to locate Brooks. As well as the FBI getting involved. The KBI and FBI conducted multiple searches, called in a dive team who searched the creek near the house the party was held at. The creek was no deeper than 3 ft. They cleared all the brush and searched the area thoroughly. Yet, there was still no sign of Brooks. The 2 agencies conducted a total of 6 searches in 27 days. The FBI considered Alonzo’s disappearance a hate crime given the reports of the racial slurs and fights.

During the 27 days the KBI and FBI were searching and investigating, Alonzo’s family was calling the sheriff’s office daily. They went to La Cygne and tried to hang up missing flyers for him. Every time they would hang one, people in town would come up behind them and tear them down. They were told by the sheriff to stop calling, and multiple townspeople informed them they were not welcome there.

After 27 days, the family was finally given permission to join search efforts. More than 50 people joined the search for Alonzo on May 1, 2004. Searchers started clearing the brush around the creek near the property. After only an hour of searching, the family found Alonzo. He was found laying on some brush along the side of Middle Creek, near the house he was last seen at, deceased.

There was no discoloration of skin, however, the pathologist determined there was no way to prove how he passed as the body was too deteriorated. There were no signs of homicide. The sheriff stated it was a homicide investigation, then retracted his statement saying it was a death investigation.

The dive team that thoroughly checked the creek stated that there was no way his body was in that creek when they searched it no deeper than it was. They would have found the body.

Therefore it seems as though he may have been kept somewhere else for the month he was missing and then dumped by Middle Creek after that month.

With no leads, the KBI closed the investigation in March of 2019. They reopened it in April of 2019. They exhumed his body in July of 2019 to do a second autopsy and officially classified his case as a homicide on April 5, 2021. There are still no answers as to what happened to Alonzo. Or who may have done it. The KBI has done interviews with people they interviewed in 2004. If you have any information or tips that may lead to the discovery of the killer of Alonzo Brooks, please contact the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.



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