FBI gives update as investigation continues into 2004 La Cygne cold case

Brooks, Alonzo

LINN COUNTY, Kan. – The FBI learns more as they continue investigating the suspicious death of Alonzo Brooks in La Cygne, Kansas in 2004.

The cold case starting getting more attention following Netflix’s “Unsolved Mysteries” series. The FBI investigation into this cold case was initiated in 2019 and a reward of up to $100,000 for information was announced at a press conference on June 11, 2020.

Case Summary:

Alonzo Brooks attended a party at a rural house outside of La Cygne, Kansas, the night of April 3, 2004. When Alonzo didn’t return home from the party, his family called authorities in Linn County, Kansas. The Linn County Sheriff’s Department launched a search.

Almost a month later, Alonzo was still missing when his family organized a search party of approximately 50 volunteers. On May 1, 2004, they found his body located in brush in a creek in Linn County. An autopsy was not able to determine the cause of death.  Alonzo was 23 years old at the time of his death. He was described as being mild-mannered and a good-humored person.

The FBI released the following on Nov. 13, 2020:

During this investigation, new information has come to light surrounding the evening of Brooks’ death. Based upon interviews of individuals who had not previously spoken with investigators, the FBI has learned there was another party, the same evening, a relatively short distance away from the party Brooks attended. Through interviews, investigators have learned that a confrontation occurred at the nearby party, and many of the attendees left that gathering and joined the party at the farmhouse where Brooks was present.

The FBI is seeking to identify and speak with any individuals who attended either party. If you or someone you know were in attendance, please contact the FBI at 816-512-8200, 816-474-TIPS, or tips.fbi.gov. Any information you may have regarding this evening or these parties is valuable and could be crucial to this investigation. Even the smallest bit of  information that may seem insignificant standing alone could be vital to the investigators.

The FBI is investigating Brooks’ death as a potential racially-motivated crime. Brooks, who was 23 years old at the time he died, was one of only three African-Americans at the party he attended with approximately 100 people at a farmhouse on the outskirts of La Cygne. Brooks, who lived in Gardner, Kan., rode to the party with friends, but they left before him, and Brooks eventually had no ride home. His body was later discovered in Middle Creek, adjacent to the farmhouse, on May 1, 2004.

The $100,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for Brooks’ death. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the FBI at 816-512-8200 or 816-474-TIPS, or to submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov