SPRING HILL — A national true crime podcast is featuring a Spring Hill murder case that has remained unsolved for more than 20 years.
Fifteen-year-old Tawnya Knight disappeared in December 1996 while hanging out with friends, and her body was found in a field by a farmer six months later.
Knight’s case is the latest to be featured on the Cold Case Chronicles podcast, which can be found online at www.coldcasechronicles.com.
The serialized podcast has been split into three parts so far, with the third part being released Sunday, Aug. 30.
Producer Ronnie Coursey said the podcast began about a year and a half ago by a group of women, one being his wife, who are dedicated to researching and reporting on cold cases across the country.
Coursey is using his Central State Studios podcast group to produce and distribute the episodes. The podcast first focused on crimes in the Indiana area, but it has since branched out into other cases throughout the country.
Coursey said the ladies learned about the Tawnya Knight case from someone who was distributing the case information during a national true crime conference.
The podcast encourages anyone with information about the 1996 death of Tawnya Knight to contact the Spring Hill Police Department at (913) 592-2700 and the Cold Case Chronicles team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Hill Police Chief Cindy Henson said the cold case investigation is being led by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
It’s not the first local unsolved murder case to draw national attention. In July, the mysterious death of Alonzo Brooks was featured on an episode of the new Unsolved Mysteries series on Netflix.
Brooks’ body was found by family members in a creek in La Cygne on May 1, 2004, about a month after he went missing after attending a party at a farmhouse.
Former Paola resident Josh Pratt, who graduated from Paola High School in 2002, has also been researching the Brooks case for a documentary and podcast. Interested people can follow Pratt’s work at alonzobrooks.com, where there is also a forum giving people an opportunity to discuss the case.
Coursey said the true crime genre is growing in popularity, particularly for women between the ages of 25 and 55.
Henson said that while an influx of unsubstantiated tips can tax the resources of a police department, shedding new light on a cold case can also generate new leads for detectives that can help them solve the case.