Lawrence — An inquisition will be held in Douglas County in an attempt to uncover information about the death of a man whose body was found in the Wakarusa River near Topeka.
Douglas County Dist. Atty. Jerry Wells said he requested and received permission on Thursday night from a local judge to convene the inquisition.
He would not say when or where the inquisition would be held, saying an inquisition is a "secret and confidential proceeding." Neither Wells nor Scott Teeselink, a Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent assigned to the case, would say who or how many people would be subpoenaed to testify at the inquisition.
Teeselink said members of the Capital Area Major Case Squad asked Wells to hold the inquisition, which he described as "an information-gathering tool."
He said investigators have not determined the identity of the victim, whose body was found Sept. 13 in the Wakarusa River less than a half-mile west of the Douglas-Shawnee county line. Authorities said the man was shot to death.
Teeselink said no suspects have been identified.
Douglas County Sheriff Loren Anderson on Thursday said the M-Squad started centering their investigation on Lawrence and Douglas County based on a sheriff's report from early September in which a resident reported overhearing someone talking about hiding a body.
The body was found submerged and tied to a beam. The victim's teeth had been removed to hinder authorities' efforts to identify the man.
Teeselink this morning said authorities have not requested inquisitions in Shawnee and Johnson counties, where the investigation also is being conducted.
Asked why the M-Squad chose to request an inquisition here, Teeselink said: "Just from the physical location of it and the fact we're getting leads from there."
Teeselink would not confirm reports that authorities believe someone involved in the slaying lives in Douglas County.
Asked whether investigators were concentrating on Douglas County because they are getting most of their leads from here or because they were getting their best leads from here, Teeselink said: "I'd say it's a combination of the two."
Wells said he and assistants would question witnesses. He and Teeselink refused to provide details about the information they're hoping to uncover during the proceeding.
Wells also refused to say which of the county's four district judges approved the request.