Archive for Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Police ID body as nearby resident

Foul play not likely in man’s death

June 27, 2007


Unknown body found near campus identified

We know the identity of a body found a week ago today near the KU campus. Enlarge video

Police on Tuesday evening announced the identification of a body found one week earlier hanging in an outbuilding on a rental property near the Kansas University campus.

According to a Lawrence police statement, John Lundmark, 54, of Lawrence, was found June 19 in a storage shed in the 1200 block of Louisiana Street.

Investigators released few additional details. The police statement did say that Lundmark lived in an apartment in the 1200 block of Ohio Street - northeast and across the alley from where his body was found.

Police also do not suspect foul play "at this time," according to the statement. Officers said last week shortly after the body was found that it appeared to be a suicide, but they still had to identify the body and confirm other details through an autopsy because he was not a resident of the property.

When the body was found, police said it was badly decomposed and unrecognizable by race or sex. Residents of the house on Louisiana Street discovered the body in the outbuilding, which was formerly a sauna, while looking for the source of an odor.

Investigators with the coroner's office and police worked during the week to make an identification. It was unclear Tuesday night whether investigators were able to identify the body based on forensic examination, information police learned, or both.

Other than saying last week that the body was hanging in the building when it was found, the police statement released Tuesday did not specify a cause of Lundmark's death. The statement did say the investigation was ongoing and that police have notified Lundmark's family.

His brother, Robert, of Lawrence, on Tuesday evening said the family did not wish to make a statement.

Attempts to reach the listed owners of the Ohio Street apartment were unsuccessful Tuesday night. A few neighbors said they didn't know Lundmark.

Dave Wingert, who lives in a residence next to Lundmark's listed home, said he had noticed him living there for about the last year. Wingert said he never spoke with him.

"He was in and out all the time," Wingert said.

Dave Hamill, who owns the property on Louisiana Street where the body was found, said Tuesday that he had heard no new information from police. Residents of the property said Tuesday night that management hired a crew that finished razing the former sauna building earlier in the day.


freeordie 8 years, 5 months ago

Boo hoo. We don't know enough to feel bad or not. It was his life and his choice to do with it as he wished. He shouldn't have imposed his decision on someone else by using their property.

H2Hummer 8 years, 5 months ago

A man disappears for a period long enough to decompose beyond the ability to determine gender and nobody reports him missing. Sometimes it takes an event like this to put certain personal problems in persepective.


I'm sure property ownership was foremost on his mind when he hung himself...!

Linda Endicott 8 years, 5 months ago

Well. So it turned out not to be some homeless bum after all, like a lot of you were assuming. (sarcasm greatly intended)

Condolences to his family.

And pay attention to your neighbors. Good heavens, are we all so caught up in our own lives anymore that we can't even notice when someone goes missing?

Reminds me of an incident that happened to me a couple of years ago. I have 18 steps going up to my apartment, and there's a concrete slab at the bottom. I fell one day, heading head-first down the stairs. I grabbed on to the railings for dear life, managed to stop myself about four steps from the bottom, and I was screaming at the top of my lungs the entire way down.

Not one of my neighbors even came outside to see what was going on.

That's pretty sad.

pelliott 8 years, 5 months ago

plumberscrack is a typical , he imagines he knows everything about the person and what he thought or felt. Typical gossip, doesn't need real information, just imagination. Sorry for the families loss and my sympathy to the man's friends.

Adrienne Sanders 8 years, 5 months ago

So, why did he have a backpack with toiletries in it if he wasn't homeless? Hm.

If you live alone (which I do), I don't think it's that far fetched that you could be dead for a couple days at least before someone would find out. I have friends & family that I talk to often, and a full time job, but I still think it would still be awhile before anyone got to the point of busting down the door looking for me.

canyon_wren 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree with dulcinea47. It seems like in present times, there are so many people who WANT to be left alone and to live relatively private lives, that most of us would feel like we were being nosy to check up on someone, especially if we didn't know them very well, And the world is full of families who don't have constant contact with family members--I think this occurs more often, maybe, in a college town where lots of people do live somewhat isolated lives by choice. Some of you who wonder why no one noticed or reported this person missing would probably be irritated if someone was checking on YOU! Get real, folks!

Linda Endicott 8 years, 5 months ago

You don't have to go peek in the windows or constantly knock on the door in order to keep an eye out for your neighbors, canyon...

Nobody does that when it's a robbery...but someone usually notices and calls 911.

If the person, as stated, was usually coming and going, and nobody had seen them doing either for a couple of days, that could be a warning sign. If their mail or newspaper hasn't been collected for a couple of days, it could be a warning sign. If you haven't seen the lights coming on in their house at night for a couple of nights, same thing.

And all you have to do is call the police. They'll do the check for you.

Last summer, during one of the really, really hot periods, the neighbors called the police to check on my ex bf. They hadn't seen him coming or going for a couple of days, and usually he was constantly on the go.

The police found him dead in his home. They attributed it to the heat. But think how long he could have been there, if the neighbors hadn't shown concern.

In the case of elderly people living alone, or anyone living alone, you could be saving their lives by being "nosy" and calling the police. Someone could fall and break a bone and couldn't get to the phone to call for help. They could be ill and not able to call for help.

Just pay attention to your neighbors. We don't exist in this world alone, you know, even if we choose to live by ourselves.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 5 months ago

Freeordie: I'm guessing you don't care much for yourself, otherwise you'd care more for others.

So, if we read in a news story that you died all alone, should we all post "Boo Hoo" about you?

I've heard it said that character is how you are when no one is watching. Being anonymous on this forum makes it easy for you to be the way you are, but I wonder if you'd say "Boo Hoo" in the face of Mr. Lundmark's brother? My guess is that you'd pretend to be empathetic toward him so you could take on the appearance of having character; character that you clearly do not have.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 5 months ago

I knew John-- he had his problems, but I never knew him to be homeless. He was a good person, and those who knew him will miss him.

RIP, John.

canyon_wren 8 years, 5 months ago

crazyks--I wasn't justifying the lack of concern--just saying that people now seem more reluctant to concern themselves about others' lives. I live in a fairly small town (about 5,000) and I recognize that one of the advantages of small-town living IS having others be concerned about your welfare, since daily comings-and-goings are more often noticed. But people who move here from areas with large populations seem to be very irritated about that--and I know many people who resent it. You are right that it is a good idea to report it when someone's daily routine seems to be broken for no reason. I take it upon myself to check on folks now and then in that way, and that is especially important when you know of persons who don't have family members or close neighbors to do so.

Adrienne Sanders 8 years, 5 months ago

Geez Pywacket... I just wondered why he would have toiletries if he's not homelss. Way to read a lot of rubbish into simple curiosity.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 5 months ago

Considering that this was info never released by the police, only assumptions made by others on the forum, it can't necessarily be believed anyway, dulcinea...

Richard Heckler 8 years, 5 months ago

"just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: I knew John- he had his problems, but I never knew him to be homeless. He was a good person, and those who knew him will miss him.

RIP, John."


TheHeartlessBureaucrat 8 years, 5 months ago

I knew him too. He had a sharp mind, a great conversationalist. Always a pleasure to have him around.


meangranny 8 years, 5 months ago

maybe he carried the things because he had a bad sweating problem. we should try to keep in touch with family, friends and neighbors, when the temps are swelltering and when it is cold out.because there are a lot of elderly, and sometimes they cant afford to have air on or try to keep the heat cost down.

radarlove 8 years, 5 months ago

heck, I carry toiletries in my bag .. why would it be odd for a man to do so?

I'm so very sorry to hear about this, and may his family find comfort in their grief, peace in the days to follow.

Anyone know of a memorial service or something like that?

kmg 8 years, 5 months ago

My son took his life in Lawrence under tragic circumstances. John was the 2nd eldest of 7 children and showed considerable artistic talent at an early age which continued through high school. He delighted in giving us his own created greetings, gifts and other art work, of which I have a drawerful. Rather than art school he chose to attend KU with his high school friends. He never left Lawrence, becoming a part of the gay community. Over the years the artistic promise never became what might have been expected, as, we have lately come to believe, alcohol addiction took over his life. A number of years ago John chose not to have any contact with his family, all of whom but one live in other states -- we will never know why. Perhaps one of the people who posted who knew him does. Each of us is trying to bear this shock, grieving for his loss each in our own particular way.

hedshrinker 8 years, 5 months ago

John was an immensely talented artist, a handsome, bright, funny man who was tortured by personal and societal demons all his life. He estranged himself from lots of friends and family over the 30 years I knew him; it breaks my heart that he thought this final lonely act was his only option...

George_Braziller 8 years, 5 months ago

I knew John as well and I agree with hedshrinker that we was a handsome, bright, funny man who was tortured by personal and societal demons.

that_one_dude 8 years, 5 months ago

Condolences to Mr. Lundmark's family and friends. This can not be an easy time for them.

amyc 8 years, 5 months ago

John passed through my life; I knew him as a kind, intelligent, talented man. What a sad and painful situation. Thanks to his family for reaching out here; my sympathy to each of you.

LSchulte 8 years, 5 months ago

I knew John when I was a graduate student at Lawrence from 1979-83. He was a talented, kind and wonderful man. We traded art work: three of his photos and one colored pencil drawing hang in my apartment. Over the years, I had lost track of him -- and only today did a google search, as he came to mind. My condolences to his family.

kmg 8 years, 5 months ago

One final word of thanks for the comments about how John really was, especially from one who knew him for 30 years, and for the kind condolences to our devastated family.

pelliott 8 years, 5 months ago

crack said "It's too bad he felt he wouldn't be missed" then admitted "I didn't say I knew anything about this man" Then indicated someone who was sad over the suicide should drink,

typical gossup, the family and friends did care, I have had about 10 drinks in my life, mostly symbolic, at weddings and toasts, I would never say that someone should drink when sorrowed. too weird.Condolances for friends and families. Alcoholism is a terrible disease and is impossible for family and friends to fix. The best thing they can do is if the person is trying a program is to learn how to support them. The other thing i suggest is if someone loses the battle, learn to forgive them.

Ken Lassman 8 years, 5 months ago

To kmg, family, others who knew John, There are a group of us who are going to try to reserve the Centennial Park shelter (next to Bucky's and the Merc) next Saturday around 6pm, if it is available, to pull together John's friends/acquaintances for a potluck "Memorial Picnic". Feel free to join us if you knew John to share stories and fellowship--check this space for confirmation, since we won't be able to check into reserving the space until Monday.

Katherine Greene 8 years, 5 months ago

PUBLIC MEMORIAL We have the shelter in Clinton park 901 W 5th (just west of Pinkney school) for Saturday July 7. Potluck at 5:30, memorial at 6:30. Bring artwork, photos and stories of John to share. Also bring a chair.

The above information will appear in the Journal World obits...possibly minus the potluck mention.

That shelter is rather small but it is the only one close in (walking distance for those without cars) that was available so if a bunch of people show up it will be bustin out.

I talked with John's mom in Corpus Christi and she gave us her blessing on the service. She said John's brother Robert may come.

california_sister 8 years, 5 months ago

On behalf of John's family, a heartfelt thank you to those who have posted caring comments about him. In reality, he had been lost to us for a long time, but we never gave up loving him unconditionally and hoping he would find his way back to us. We would also like to thank the wonderful detectives, Zach Thomas and Greg Pruett, who didn't give up until John was identified. Zach Thomas showed true compassion by driving to Kansas City to personally notify our brother Rob (who was in a training session there), and contacting the police in our mother's home town to send a local policeman to notify her in person.
I will be at the memorial service along with Rob and his family, and we look forward to sharing our memories of John with you.

rljf 8 years, 5 months ago

My family would like to thank the person or persons responsible for setting up the memorial service on Sat for my brother John. My mother was not going to come as travelling is hard on her. My sister from Cal decided to come when she heard about the service. When my mother and one of my other sisters heard she was coming they decided to come too. I personally didn't think that I was the one to set this up but am very grateful that you decided to do so. We will still have a private family event, probably next year.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.