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Archive for Thursday, April 19, 1973

Youth’s body found on farm

April 19, 1973

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— Local authorities here along with Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents are working today to learn the identity of a young man whose body was found Wednesday on a farm southeast of Garnett.

Today, Anderson County Attorney Terry Solander said murder has not been ruled out in the death of the youth, estimated to be 18 to 20 years old.

A coroner’s report place the time of death from two weeks to a month ago, Solander said, but the body has too badly decomposed for a determination yet of the cause of death.

The body was found by hikers about noon Wednesday on a wooded section of a farm about three miles southeast of Garnett, Solander said.

Authorities, he said, are investigating the possibility of a connection with the murder of three people southeast of Ottawa whose bodies were discovered March 29.

However, Solander said the estimated time of death of the the youth found Wednesday is presently the “...only remote association with the case in Ottawa.”

The investigation of that murder near Ottawa in which the victims were Gary Longfellow and Mrs. Hazel Avery, both of Lawrence, and Steven Avery, Iola, is continuing in Lawrence.

Today, Douglas County Sheriff Rex Johnson said there have been no new developments in the investigation here and that no additional letters have been received in response to a reward offer made April 10.

Three letters have been received since a $1,000 cash reward was offered for information leading to the killer or killers of the three found dead in a car near Ottawa. Letters may be sent to the reward fund’s Post Office Box 15, Lawrence, Kan., 66044.

In Garnett, Solander said that no determination of murder could be made until a complete pathological examination of the body was completed by the KBI laboratory.

He said there was some indication of a skull fracture on the body but not to an extent that it could be definitely described as the cause of death.

Solander said no gunshot wound was observed on the body.

The investigation there is now concentrating on determining the identity of the youth, Solander said.

He is described as white, about 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and 150 pounds, with brown wavy hair about five inches long.

He was wearing a waist-length, brown corduroy coat and a green long-sleeved shirt with blue jeans with an octagonal “stop sign” patch sewed on the left rear pocket. He had on waffle-stomper boots and a navy blue stocking cap.

He was wearing three rings, one with the numeral 78 on it, and two with crosses on them. He also wore a silver chain with cross around his neck.

The man also wore a black belt with a two-inch silver buckle resembling a buffalo nickel, authorities said.

The description issued by investigators also reports the man’s two lower front teeth are baby teeth.

Today Johnson said no one answering that description has been reported missing to Douglas County authorities.

Solander said agents in Anderson County have checked the description against one missing person report but concluded definitely that the identifications did not match.

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