In 2004, Brooks, a Black man, went missing after attending a party. His body was found a month later in a creek. The official autopsy at the time didn’t determine a cause of death and the case went cold.
“We knew that Alonzo Brooks died under very suspicious circumstances,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard in a news release. “This new examination by a team of the world’s best forensic pathologists and experts establishes it was no accident. Alonzo Brooks was killed. We are doing everything we can, and will spare no resources, to bring those responsible to justice.”
His body was transported to Dover Air Force Base for examination by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner after it was exhumed, according to the news release from the Federal Bureau of Investigations Kansas City Division.
While the details of the examination are being withheld for investigative purposes, the new autopsy focuses on injuries to Brooks’ body that the examiner concluded are “inconsistent with normal patterns of decomposition,” according to the release.
After he failed to come home the next day, his family contacted the police who began searching for Brooks. It wasn’t until a month later, after a group of his family and friends organized their own search, that his body was found on top of a pile of brush and branches in the creek, according to the FBI.
After the official autopsy performed in 2004 didn’t determine a cause of death, Brooks’ case went nowhere.
The FBI added that his death was being investigated as a potential racially-motivated crime. In July 2020, the FBI exhumed his body from his grave at a Topeka cemetery.
From the beginning of his case, rumors swirled that Brooks was a 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,” the FBI said.
Brooks’ mother, Maria Ramirez, believes her son was targeted for his race.