Netflix's gripping docu-series Unsolved Mysteries featured the 2004 case of 23-year-old Alonzo Brooks, who died under mysterious circumstances following a house party in rural Kansas in 2004.
Two weeks after the series aired in July 2020, it was revealed Brooks' body had been exhumed 16 years on. Now, ten months later, a new autopsy has ruled that his death wasn't an accident.
"We knew that Alonzo Brooks died under very suspicious circumstances. This new examination by a team of the world's best forensic pathologists and experts establishes it was no accident," US Attorney Duston Slinkard told various media outlets on Monday. "Alonzo Brooks was killed. We are doing everything we can, and will spare no resources, to bring those responsible to justice."
The FBI reopened Brooks' case in 2019, and are offering a $100,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Brooks vanished after the house party on the night of April 3rd, 2004 and his body was found by a nearby creek just under a month later by a search party organised by his family. Witnesses say Brooks received racist insults when he was at the party and the person he was supposed to be getting a lift home with ended up leaving without him.
Due to the lapse of time between his death and finding his body, "forensic analysis of the physical evidence at the time was limited" and the first official autopsy failed to determine a cause of death. His family and friends believe he was murdered in a racially-motivated crime.
Following the recent autopsy, the FBI said the new investigation is focused on whether Brooks was "the victim of a racially motivated killing". They added, "Our reach is broad, and the strength of our investigative tools are exceptional. We remain dedicated to uncovering the truth surrounding the murder of Alonzo Brooks and ensuring those responsible are held accountable for their actions.”
Meanwhile, Unsolved Mysteries showrunner Terry Dunn Meurer said last year that "Alonzo Brooks was probably [the case] we’ve received the most emails on. Lots of theories that we had already heard when we were producing the episodes, but there are some new names that have come in and that we forwarded onto the FBI. There were a lot of people there at that party, somebody witnessed what happened. We just hope that they’ll come forward."
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