The body of a Kansas man killed in 2004 in a suspected hate crime was exhumed Tuesday as federal authorities reinvestigate the case.
Alonzo Brooks, 23, was exhumed from a Topeka graveyard early Tuesday. According to KSNT, Brooks’ family said tips have poured in since his case was featured on an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries,” which premiered on Netflix on July 1.
Brooks, 23, vanished while attending a party in LaCygne on April 3, 2004. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas said in a statement that Brooks was one of three African-American people at the gathering attended by 100 other partygoers.
“From the beginning, there were rumors that Brooks had been the victim of foul play. Some said Brooks 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 Brooks’ presence,” federal authorities said.
Brooks, who lived in Gardner, reportedly drove to the party with friends who ultimately left without him. His family reported him missing when he failed to come home the following day.
Brooks’ body was recovered from a lake in La Cygne on May 1, 2004. His body was so decomposed that officials were unable to determine how he died. Friends and family have reportedly insisted that the 23-year-old did not commit suicide or drown.
“Unsolved Mysteries” executive producer Terry Dunn Meurer told Variety that the show has received leads regarding Brooks’ case that the production team has forwarded to law enforcement. Meurer also revealed that they’ve received the most emails about Brooks than any other case in the new season — and that some of those messages referenced new names relevant to the unresolved case.
“There were a lot of people there at that party, somebody witnessed what happened. We just hope that they’ll come forward,” Meurer told Variety.
The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in this case.
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[Featured image: Alonzo Brooks/FBI]