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.