Archive for Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Body near campus poses mystery to police

June 19, 2007


Lawrence police are investigating an unattended death near the Kansas University campus this afternoon after a someone discovered a body hanging inside a small outbuilding.

"We found a small shed behind the residence, and there's a body hanging in the shed. It's obviously been there for a long time," said Capt. Ray Urbanek.

Officers and medics with Lawrence Douglas County Fire & Medical were called around 3:15 p.m. to the alley in the 1200 block of Louisiana Street after someone who lives in the house on the property discovered the body, police said.

The residents of the home, who were all accounted for, had detected a foul smell, Urbanek said. They were looking for what caused the smell when someone discovered the body, he said.

"It looks pretty much just like a suicide to me," Urbanek said.

The police captain said because of how long the body had been there officers could not immediately tell race or sex, much less make an identification or try to notify the person's family.

Police detectives were on their way to the scene to help investigate.

Urbanek also said officers believe the shed was something the residents did not have access to.


Bill Chapman 10 years, 8 months ago

DO NOT use CSI as a way to judge a crime scene! The show uses many short cuts in procedure and the time it takes to preform tests. Also many scenes are "cleaned up" so it will pass the censors. Sometimes they use questionable techniques/tests as well (meaning unproven),as well as stuff that doesn't quite exist yet.

agrabass 10 years, 8 months ago

"What a buzz kill"...yah, all alone they really wanted to move on. It was not a cry for help. Shut up they were done. I hope their energy has found a content place to be.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 8 months ago

The article said the tenants didn't have access to the shed. Then who did? This person got in there somehow. And I don't understand why they're so quick to try and deem it a suicide.

I can only imagine how horrible the smell was. It's been so hot and humid lately.

Aileen Dingus 10 years, 8 months ago


I hope whoever it was has found peace.

chucknoblet 10 years, 8 months ago

Eeek. That's weird because on Saturday, maybe early evening, I was a few blocks from there, around 14th and Connecticut, and as I was driving with my windows down, I smelled a gosh-awful smell and thought that there must either be a dead animal or dead human nearby or maybe someone in the neighborhood threw away something like a side of beef in their garbage and it had sat in the hot sun for several days. I remember seeing a guy sitting on his porch and I thought to myself, "I wonder how he can stand to sit out there with that horrible smell in the neighborhood."

Linda Endicott 10 years, 8 months ago

How long would a body have to be there for them not to be able to tell the race or sex??

Exactly when did they notice the foul smell, and why didn't anyone report it sooner?

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 8 months ago

crazyks wondered "How long would a body have to be there for them not to be able to tell the race or sex??"

Not as long as you would think. Oddly enough, the Hollywood depiction of dead bodies tends to clean them up quite a bit.

Danielle Brunin 10 years, 8 months ago

How sad that no one even seemingly missed this person. We were driving in that general area the other day and smelled something like a dead animal. I hope that's what it was, and not a dead body. How disturbing...

Friedrich 10 years, 8 months ago

I'm a tenant here. And answer me this: How often do any of you look into empty sheds at the back corner of your property that you were always told was locked? No, we never noticed "anything strange" and we have a negligent landlord. Today, after the smell only grew worse, we did some looking around to find what we assumed was a dead racoon or something. I'm just lucky I wasn't the one to find a decomposing body hanging inside the shed. We were told that it seemed like it had been there about a week and a half.
What the hell does it matter if police have ever come to the house for any other reason?
I can't even believe I'm responding to this.

gabbo 10 years, 8 months ago


Please don't pay any attention to hawkperchedatLarnedStateHospital. He watches too much Matlock. What an awful thing to find. I'm sorry for this person, you, and your housemates.

George_Braziller 10 years, 8 months ago

chucknoblet (Anonymous) says: Uhhhh, 1200 block of Louisiana is about half a mile away from 14th and Connecticut. You were probabably smelling a dead opossum or trash waiting to be picked up. No way you could have been smelling a dead body.

fletch 10 years, 8 months ago

God, I used to live in that house, and I know what shed was involved. It's an old sauna building that has been rusted and jammed shut for a long time, and it's not on a part of the property that you'd go by much (only if you're taking trash out, and even then it's 30 feet away). The windows are covered with dirt. You'd never notice something had happened with it.

So sad. My thoughts are with my friends who had to find that, and whoever it was that had to die alone.

penguin 10 years, 8 months ago

My mind instantly went to a certain address and fletch has confirmed it. I cant believe this happened and it is sad.

bungalow 10 years, 8 months ago

ah... weird! sad, too. which house i wonder?

chucknoblet 10 years, 8 months ago

ok, ok, sorry, I shouldn't have said I was a "few" blocks from there. Next time I'll look on a map before I post on LJWorld. My point was that for the first time in I don't know how many years I smelled something so strong and so awful that my first thought was that it was a dead body. So it just struck me that I was reading an article just a few days later about a dead body smell a few blocks away, oh wait, sorry, I mean SIX blocks away, so that doesn't count.

To the guy who lives in the house where they found the body--I totally agree with you; I would've just assumed it was a dead possum or someting, and I wouldn't have thought to go looking for a hanging body in a shed that I thought was locked. I would've assumed it must've been a dead animal in my neighbor's yard or something, so please ignore the scolds on here who are much better than any of us and would have known exactly what to do, since they're SO much smarter than any of us could EVER hope to be.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years, 8 months ago

I used to live about 16 blocks from a large meat packing plant in Wichita. When we drove by it, it was so horrible that you'd roll up the car windows, but you couldn't smell it from our house, EXCEPT in the winter, when the wind would come straight from the north.

My point is this: in this part of the world, almost all our wind is from the west. Even when it's coming from the south (as in the summer) or the north (winter), it almost always has a westerly direction (SSW, NNW). If the house was west of the shed, then the smell might not have been as noticeable as we are imagining it was. Unless you lived on Ohio, I guess...

What I think is sad is that someone was dead for some time, and yet the story makes no mention of a missing person's report. Some lonely dude was all alone and found a place to end it all. What a buzz kill.

ilkeeze 10 years, 8 months ago

I have been saddened since reading the news of this tragedy yesterday and I have strongly debated responding to the comments left since. However, I have to say that I am appalled, as well as, disturbed by the casualness of flippant remarks on here. The person found today is still that, a person, a human being that was in this world and now is not. They had a mother, a father, friends, and these people still have yet to be notified. Not too mention the tenants that are affected by this incident. So, please, try to be the bigger person and respond with respect and humanity, not blatantly ignorant knee-jerk anecdotes. Your comments are ugly, not clever.

Indigosky 10 years, 8 months ago

ilkeeze, it is sad that this person died alone, I agree. I also want to mention that the kids that have lived in the rental house are good kids, serious students and are very active in the student community. This house however, should probably be condemned. The landlord who would probably prefer not to be identified, is making out like a bandit given the location of the house. The sheds entry should have been secured or perhaps the shed should have been taken down long ago. I am not trying to imply that the landlord had some responsibility in preventing the death, I am implying that Lawrence landlords need to be held to a higher esteem.

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