Alonzo Brooks

Investigators now believe there was a second party near the one where Alonzo Brooks was last seen alive 16 years ago.

Brooks never came home from a party at a farmhouse in rural La Cygne in April 2004. His body was found in a nearby creek nearly a month after his disappearance. He was 23 years old.

The official autopsy could not determine a cause of death, and investigators could not get a clear picture of what took place at the party and afterward by speaking to those who were there.

The cold case recently began making headlines again, in large part due to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister and FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Langan announcing during a press conference in June that the FBI is now offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the death of Alonzo Brooks.

“We are investigating whether Alonzo was murdered,” McAllister said. “His death certainly was suspicious, and someone, likely multiple people, know(s) what happened that night in April 2004. 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.”

The FBI is investigating Alonzo’s death as a potential racially-motivated crime. Alonzo was one of only three African-American men at the party he attended with approximately 100 people at a farmhouse on the outskirts of La Cygne. He rode to the party with friends, but they left before him, and Alonzo eventually had no ride home, according to the FBI release.

When Alonzo failed to come home the next day, his family and friends contacted the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

From the beginning, there were rumors that Alonzo had been the victim of foul play. Some said he may have flirted with a girl, some said drunken white men wanted to fight an African-American male, and some said racist whites simply resented Alonzo’s presence, according to the release.

After the party, two troubling facts were indisputable: Alonzo could not be found; and no one who attended the party would admit to knowing what happened to him, according to the release.

The cold case got national attention in July when it was the focus of one of six episodes of the new Unsolved Mysteries series on Netflix. The episode was titled “No Ride Home.”

All of the new attention has given investigators some new leads. Based upon interviews of individuals who had not previously spoken with investigators, the FBI has learned there was another party, the same evening, a relatively short distance away from the party Brooks attended, according to a news release from the Kansas City Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Through interviews, investigators have learned that a confrontation occurred at the nearby party, and many of the attendees left that gathering and joined the party at the farmhouse where Brooks was present, according to the release.

The FBI is seeking to identify and speak with any individuals who attended either party. If you or someone you know were in attendance, you are asked to contact the FBI at (816) 512-8200, (816) 474-TIPS, or tips.fbi.gov.

“Any information you may have regarding this evening or these parties is valuable and could be crucial to this investigation,” the release states. “Even the smallest bit of information that may seem insignificant standing alone could be vital to the investigators.”

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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