Update: Alonzo Brooks Exhumed

On the evening of April 2, 2004, Alonzo Brooks rode with his friend Justin to a party at a farmhouse in LaCygne, Kansas. This small, rural town is about 45 miles away from Gardner, Kansas where Alonzo was living with his mother. The party turned out to be a festive night, where Alonzo was said to have been having a great time by his friends. As the night went on, Alonzo’s friends started to leave the party and assumed that someone would give Alonzo a ride back home. However, Alonzo never made it back home and his mother noticed that he was not home the next morning, which was not in his character.  

Alonzo’s mother followed up with his friends, questioning why they left him at a party with people he didn’t know, considering he was one of the few Black people at the party. Thereafter, Alonzo’s friends and family raced to LaCygne to search for him, but found only his boots and hat in the weeds across the road from the long driveway to the farmhouse. Nobody at the farmhouse or in the small-town claimed to have seen Alonzo. Rumors quickly surfaced that racial slurs and threats were tossed around at the party after Alonzo’s friends left…that Alonzo was flirting with a white girl and was dragged or chased down the driveway and murdered…that he was beaten to death…that he went swimming in the nearby creek and drowned. 

The search for Alonzo did not immediately provide results. Law enforcement searched multiple areas, but Alonzo did not turn up. It wasn’t until a month after law enforcement searches died down that Alonzo’s family was able to put on their own search. They found Alonzo within 30 minutes of starting their search. He was in a creek, which law enforcement said they had thoroughly searched previously. Even though Alonzo had been missing for a month, his family and friends noticed that there was not much decomposition to his body, thus fueling rumors that maybe his body had been previously frozen. The coroner who assessed Alonzo’s body was not able to confirm a cause or manner of death at the time.  

Update: As of July 2020, Alonzo’s body has been exhumed from his grave. The FBI is also offering a $100,000 reward for information about his disappearance.  If you have any information about Alonzo Brooks, please let us know here

See the episode of “No Ride Home” streaming now on Netflix.

 

40 Comments

  1. VCM

    I don’t know if the responsable of this will read this website, but if it is, please confesses, Alonzo’s family needs to know what happenned to him. You had 15 years of freedom, you have your life, Alonzo didn’t get the chance. Maybe you are thinking that prision is the worst thing that could happen to you, but Alonzo’s family and friends are living and they will live the worst part of everything, you still alive dude. The posibility of justice is on your hands, it’s never too late to give calm for those who are waiting for the truth.

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  2. uh

    Justin and those guys are awful friends for leaving him there, no doubt. However, I feel like they probably left him there because they were ignorant white guys, who had never been made to feel unsafe in any situation like that, so had never stopped to consider the same might not be true for their black friend. I don’t get the sense its because they intentionally wanted to hurt him, BUT I think that the discrepancies in Justin’s story (saying that he was on the phone to Adam and Alonzo was talking in the background, saying he asked Adam to give Alonzo a ride home, yet apparently the next morning Adam thought Alonzo had left the party??) — I reckon Justin was drunk, didn’t organise a ride home for Alonzo, and felt guilty about abandoning him so he wanted to push the blame off onto someone else so he wouldn’t look as responsible for Alonzo’s murder?

    His murder was for sure a hate crime. I think he was strangled… possibly lynched… and kept in a freezer until the authorities had stopped searching the creek. I think it’s likely they heard that the family was doing a search and as a final act of violence against the family, wanted to maximise the harm against them by making them the ones who had to discover his body. I reckon there was probably children of law enforcement or powerful/respected white families at the party who were covered for, maybe that’s how they even found out about the fact that the authorities had stopped searching the creek. I also think if the kid who went missing was white, the perpetrators would’ve been caught immediately (the way the cops responded when the family tried to report him missing? so dismissive)

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  3. james

    i believe that he was drunk they beat him seriously by 4-5 white people to play with him they took his shoes and beanny and throw them away left and right they took him more further he was already way way from home and left him there and got lost and eventually he sucount to his woonds and died

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  4. Adrianna

    This is a story that just broke my heart. I have biracial siblings whom are half african american and white while i am guatemalan and white. One things just really was off to me, the friends acknowledged he was the only African American at the party and left Zo there ALONE KNOWING he was getting discriminated at that party. If i was Zo’s friend and i was there, no matter how much Zo didn’t want to leave the party as his friend i would say “This isn’t the best environment to be in, we can find something else better to do” and they could’ve removed themselves and Zo from that situation. Also, why leave your friend whom was threaten at a party and they even all stated that particular part of Kansas is not “ideal” for people of color to be at. Why leave if you know he came there with you? His momma would still have her baby and Zo would have a family by now. Someone needs to speak out, i don’t know how anyone can sleep at night carrying this guilt that an innocent man died just by going to a party with his “friends”. God bless his family my hearts go out to all of them.

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  5. Margaro

    i can’t understand , Why let him alone in a racist small town?, The people in that party was interviewed?. This sounds a two things. The police or somebody with police relationship is the guilty or the guilty is a powerfull guy in the small town.

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  6. Bea

    For a body in good shape, so good he still had his color but no tissue on his neck is a HUGE indicator that there was trauma to the tissue in that area. That has been repeated over and over by many experts who deal with strangulations. Unfortunately we all know that strangulation does not necessarily lead to trauma to the neck or hyoid bone. It’s been implied this is a sun down town. As someone that grew up in a town with very small minded people, lynching was often joked about. Who is to say the girl was not just a ruse to get Zo to drink something that was drugged so they could essentially “lynch” him? I think the friends really failed Zo but you know unless they do know something or actually participated, the only thing they are guilty of is bad judgment and poor friend skills.

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  7. Jose Lopez

    My guess is, when the altercation happened – that Daniel describes he had to step in – they actually chickened out, probably got threatened that they’ll get beaten up too, so they left him there alone. The story with the cigarettes, getting lost, calling Adam to give him a ride, is just BS

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  8. Genesis Gutierrez

    That history have a lot of inconsistencies and idk but I think the theory of 5 people fighting with Alonzo is just not correct if it’s true that his bones were intact. They easily could broke a bone if their are 5 vs 1, even worse if they were drunk. Two months ago one friend was beaten by 4, he really fought back and they broken his wrist and a rib. Who did that was thinking in kill him at the first place. I’m so sorry for the Alonso family, I hope they can find out the truth soon.

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  9. Matt Lopez

    The friends were really sketch let’s start of with that

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  10. Mr. H

    Was the store open that time of night? I doubt it. It’s too many inconsistencies in Justin’s story

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  11. Kavita S

    I think more pressure should be applied on the “friends” because they seem to know more than they’re letting on. Clearly Justin leaving Zo alone to get cigarettes after the riff does not sum up. Why didn’t they just leave the party altogether after the riff? Why stay on knowing or believing there was tension? Could it be that Justin and Daniel left while Zo was actually be attacked, which is the small fight they mentioned, and then made up stories to cover what had actually happened?

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  12. MargarethWever

    Have you ever gone searching for something you took? I have. Helping everyone search and then suddenly “finding” it while you had it all along ( I like to cheat with card games by hiding cards in my hair nothing involving bodies! ) Who wanted to search there, that person is involved. Don’t you think it is odd they found him that quick? Maybe some guilt came in to them and they put him there to be found and then guided the search there.

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  13. Max Powers

    When you’re in your early 20s and going to parties with friends and drinking, it’s easy to lose track of people. UM presents this as potentially suspicious, but this kind of thing happens all the time. In retrospect, yeah, bad idea to leave your black friend by himself at a party in a racist town. But 99 times out of 100, it ends up ok. Most people, even if they are racist, aren’t going to kill another human being.
    I think the police need to be more aggressive with their interrogations of the people at the party. Make things uncomfortable. Someone knows something. If an attractive white girl was the victim, they would have found the killer within days.

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  14. Payton

    You know Alonzo is a African America in a highly populated white town but you believe its “ok” to leave your friend at a party.Those r some really bad “friends”. From what I heard Alonzo sounded like a guy that would stand up for himself if he was put in a certain situation. I believe Alonzo got into a altercation with one party goers. More people got involved and jumped Alonzo, but then they realized they had beat him to death (they probably meant to beat him). They hid his body in a freezer and dumped him in the creak when the time was right. This was 100% a hate crime and you’d be crazy to think otherwise. I also believe that the investigation itself was poorly handled. The police couldn’t find the body but it only took the volunteers a few minutes after searching for Alonzo. The officers involved in this investigation just DID NOT CARE. why? because he was black. I hope the family will one day find out what happened to Alonzo brooks.

    Reply

  15. Beth

    The fact the body had no physical signs of an attack should have led investigators to do a toxicology report, anything could have been slipped in his drink at a party making him disorientated and ending up in the creek, however Justin got lost getting cigarettes and he rang adam, why did he not ring zo and explain the situation to him if he was going to get cigarettes for him and also take him home, after he had got lost why did he not return to the party, how did he find his way home? Who is this female also, if he was talking to her then he could have left with her hence adam believing he had already gone home. Or was this all organised to get Zo to the house which was in such a remote area and as they said rife with racism, the female also plays a big part in this and from what it seems she wasnt looked into, it is possible she charmed him, drugged him for one of the other men at the party? Why was the tennants also evicted so short afterwards? Too many unanswered questions that really should have been looked at.

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  16. Roo Vii

    I think Adam could be the key to this… he was the last to see Zo alive.. he was the last in the group to be there. If Adam said he left thinking that Zo had already left, or that they missed each other… that leads me to believe Adam saw Zo talking to a girl and getting flirty, close, or comfortable with her , which is why he probably thought Zo had left with the girl to do his thing. Therefore that theory about Zo talking to a girl is probably not far fetched. I am sure guys at that party already disliked him cause of his race and were looking for a motive to attack him, and him talking to a girl who one of these guys felt they were entitled to was a good reason to beat him up, and with alcohol involved he was beat up by a group of them. This group did wait to do this though… the phone call by Justin to Adam that made Zo to start ” talking trash” was an announcement from those who were already listening, and waiting to do him harm, they saw this as their opportunity and waited for him to be completely alone to start the fight and or attack.

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  17. Anonymous I just want justice

    I remember 16 not 2 years ago walking past the Belvedere and seeing a man, he looked exactly like Alonzo, and I was 3 and saw someone get thrown off the building it could’ve been a test dummy and I looked closely and remember seeing porter? If that ain’t his name it’s Alonzo’s buddy from high school

    Reply

  18. Jennie Collins

    If the body was not as decomposed, and had color still in the skin, there should have been a drug screening or even a toxicology report done on him. You never know if someone put something when he wasn’t looking. Especially if they supposedly found no bruising, broken bones, or lacerations. Phone records, may help with finding who the authorities were in contact with, or even help place people where they said they were. I hope they find who did this, and all that were involved with it.

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  19. Flavia Carmen Ricceri

    Devono controllare lo sceriffo di quel paesino. Secondo me lui ha coperto tutto, ha fatto in modo che le prove venissero inquinate. Così da non risalire. Sicuramente chi ha ucciso Alonzo sarà un parente dello sceriffo o della polizia di Linn

    Reply

  20. Javier Ruiz

    Maybe Alonso took off his boots and benne when flirting with girl and Justin didn’t like it, got mad took boots and benne and threw them out on the way out of party leaving Alonso behind… and that might started something when Alonso found out that boots were missing and blamed someone else for it

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  21. Javier Ruiz

    We should start questioning:
    1- who heard or knew about the party and told Alonso?? Who called Daniel about the party? Might know something
    2 – interrogate the guy who had argument with Alonso, his “friend” Justin or Daniel might know, even thu later he said “no animosity” between guests, but suddenly forgot Alonso was on a discussion earlier that Daniel had to step in between… ???
    3 – Justin knows more than what he’s saying… his eyes say so..
    4 – Find “Adam” and question him until “bleeds out”. Justin says talk to Adam to give Alonso a ride… Alonso was close to him, but later Justin says Adam “missed him”

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  22. Supriya

    Justin left to bring cigarettes he was stuck. He was there at location till morning in that field area its not possible or did he go to home, how can he when his car was not in condition to work , friends are the suspects for this mystery no friend leaves other friend behind unless he is not true friend and they even had chaos how can they leave they are smart enough to make this death mystery .

    Reply

  23. BlackSheep

    You bring Zo, your friend to a party in a town an hour away that you “never heard of before that night” and then you leave him there after one of your crew had to break up an argument between Zo and some guy, ( #1 suspect) to get cigarettes? How does one NOT go back for a friend? Why would you leave the party at all w/o the people you came with? That’s a lie. You got scared about something and wanted to distance yourself from it. (Suspect #2) I don’t believe for a second that Zo’s “friends” are telling the absolute truth. Stop being scared and speak up. I hope the FBI gets to the bottom of it and the family gets closure.

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  24. Kimberly OG

    Por qué no revisaron bien el luga? ,el cuerpo debió ser examinadas sigilosamente porque un mes ya debería estar a un nivel de descomposición alto, en sus pertenencias habría evidencia de huellas dactilares, se hubiera tomado como tal. Es un caso fuerte cuando proviene de algo tan ovbio como el lugar donde se encontraba.

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  25. Glenn Stoneham

    the key has to be in the location of the hat and boots…why were they off? Why did they leave them where they easily be found? Did he drop them as clues?

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  26. Kitty

    The fact his body was not decomposed after a month sounds a lot like the Smiley Face Killer cases

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  27. Nick V.

    They saw Zo in trouble with someone at the party and let him alone later. Zo’s friends know the truth and they are responsible for this. At least give an answer to his family.

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  28. Devyn Smith

    Its like everybody, somehow, had it out for Zoe. He was able to tell his mom the party was for someone going into the military, but none of his friends knew why the party was being thrown. Who gave Zoe that information? I doubt he would just make up a lie to tell his mom about a party. If Justin really was lost, why wouldn’t he try to make it back to the party? And if he was lost, it was very convient that he knew his way back home.There was a big cover up and I hope all of the law enforcement involved goes to jail. The town is extremely small, so I know, without a shadow of a doubt, the kids of law enforcement was at the party. They kept telling the family that they couldn’t come down and help the search and told them when they could search for Zoe. To me, this helped with the whole lie of his body being in the water long enough to decompose and to NOT be able to find any evidence. Its just crazy how untrained civilians were able find him.

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  29. Dorte Olsen

    Very strange that your so-called friends will all just leave you at a party so far away from your hometown. What were they thinking?? Also a little bit odd that Justin drives out to get cigarettes, but ends up getting lost (?). So, he can’t find his way back to the party, but he can find his way home…?! And why does this Adam guy not appear in the programme? If he is told that he has to make sure to give Alonzo a lift home, how can he even think that Alonzo has already left ?? Alonzo had no other person to get a lift from…. !!

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  30. Penny

    The Missing 411 phenomena really needs to be explored in Mr Brooks’ case. There are so many common factors that happened to Mr Brooks that happens to all Missing 411 that this cannot be ignored.

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  31. Tasya R

    something’s fishy with this Justin guy. i know you know something or maybe even you know the detail. i can see it in your eyes. your eyes tell something more.

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  32. Òòṣàkáyọ̀dé Ìṣọlá

    I have heard that this area was a known sun down town. What was the result of the interview with that girl whom the fight started over? Justin seem altruistic but all the other so called friend look suspicious. Even how he was informed Of the party seemed odd. It seems as if this was pre planned homicide. Call me paranoid but I would not be surprised if the local law enforcement is in on this or knew the killers and are attempting to hide them as if they are kin. This whole case is foul.

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  33. Bolin Rodgers

    FBI interview Adam,

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  34. Heather A

    I believe there is a cover up and that the coroner has a part in it. The family repeatedly states that they were surprised how little decomposition there was on the body even theorizing that the body may have been frozen to preserve it. Yet the coroner says the body was too decomposed to determine anything. I’m glad they exhumed the body I think an independent autopsy will bring something to light.

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  35. Danielle

    something is sus with this “Adam” person

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  36. Mahnoor

    Justin’s account is sketchy. Please look into him and this “Adam” person.

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  37. Angie

    Something stinks from the “friends” to the incompetent coroner. Like you don’t have to have a medical degree to know a body won’t look normal after 30days in creek water and a wooded area. I hope whoever did this is suffering and they bring them to justice

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  38. stephen sparrowjack

    Justin saying that he can trade places with Alonzo in a heartbeat made me think something must be bothering him. Maybe he’s feeling guilty not just because he left him at the party, but maybe because he knows more to the story. Nobody could tell whether he’s involved to the death of Zo or maybe he just can’t spill all the information he has on his head to avoid incremenating someone.

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  39. Harlens M.

    Justin mentioned, that on the night of the party, he got lost going for cigarettes. He allegedly called Adam, to have Adam explain to Alonzo that he was lost. According to Justin, Alonzo hearing this started “talking trash” about him being lost and knowing that he, Justin, wasn’t coming back to the party; consequently, he, Alonzo, should get a ride with Adam. This would insinuate an agreement between Adam and Alonzo that they would be riding home together that night.

    Later in the doc, the next morning, after learning that Alonzo didn’t come home, Justin reaches out to Adam. According to Justin, he “heard” that Adam believed that Alonzo had already left, or that they “missed each other”…

    Let’s think…why would Adam think that Alonzo already left, when Adam knew he was Alonzo’s only ride home at that point in time? Who else would’ve taken Alonzo home???

    Either Justin has something to do with this, or he know what truly happened. And hopefully, they get to interview this “Adam” guy who wasn’t on the documentary.

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  40. Joseph Shanklin

    I’m impressed by the FBI’s reward. That’s legit!

    Reply