AceShowbiz - The body of Alonzo Brooks is exhumed after an episode of "Unsolved Mysteries" reboot heightened interest in the cold case. The 23-year-old Kansas black man died under mysterious circumstances in 2004 and is currently being investigated as a possible hate crime.
After local station KSNT published a picture of a Bobcat backhoe digging up the grave in a cemetery in Topeka, a spokesperson for the Kansas City FBI confirmed on Tuesday, July 21, "The body of Alonzo Brooks was exhumed today as part of the ongoing investigation."
The FBI reopened investigation on Brooks' case in 2019, 15 years after his mysterious disappearance and death. The Department of Justice said in June of this year, "The FBI is investigating Brooks' death as a potential racially-motivated crime," and offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who comes forward with information regarding his death.
"Likely multiple people know what happened that night in April 2004," U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a statement last month, as quoted by PEOPLE. "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."
Since then, Brooks' family has been receiving tips about the cold case. The exhuming of his body suggests that there may be some serious progress in the case.
Brooks was last seen at a party at a farmhouse on the outskirts of La Cygne on April 3, 2004. According to witness accounts, Brooks was one of few black people at the party. He was seen among the crowd, described as mostly white, redneck and racist types.
His friend said Brooks nearly got into a fight with one guy over a girl, but still stayed at the party, even after his friends left. He never returned home. On the following day, his boots and hat were found across the road from the house party property. However, his body wasn't discovered until May 1, 2004 in a nearby creek.
An autopsy could not determine his cause of death due to the advanced decomposition of the body, but those close to him believed he was murdered.