28-year-old’s body found in rural Douglas County

The body of a 28-year-old Lawrence man was found Sunday morning in a field in rural Douglas County just west of Lawrence, producing a daylong law enforcement investigation but scarce facts.

The investigation began Sunday morning when the discovery of the body in a field along the East 700 section of U.S. Highway 40 was reported to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

By early afternoon, nearly a dozen sheriff’s officers and other law enforcement officials had roped off the scene about two miles from Lawrence, surrounding the field with patrol cars and a mobile command center.

In the field, two tents had been set up to provide shelter from the rain. A white extended-cab pickup sat nearby.

“We are considering this a suspicious death,” said Lt. Kari Wempe, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Wempe asked for help from the community in locating a car believed to be associated with the death.

Wempe described the car as a maroon 1988 Ford Thunderbird with a personalized license plate reading “JVOLA.”

Anyone with information about the car or its occupants is asked to call the CrimeStoppers hot line, 843-TIPS, or contact the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office plans a news conference sometime today, Wempe said, although she did not know what time.

At the scene, officials released little information about the crime and met with some area residents, asking them not to discuss the investigation with others.

Neighbor David Steger, who lives across the street from the area, said no one from the sheriff’s department had spoken with him about what had happened.

“It seems like a bad deal whatever happened over there,” Steger said. “They didn’t come by and say nothing.”