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Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2007

Suspect used dead woman’s home while body was on floor

May 3, 2007

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— David W. Logsdon used the home of his next-door neighbor for days while her dead body lay on the floor before he drove her car to a shopping mall and opened fire, killing two people.

"It might be a stretch to say that he was living there," said Detective Alane Booth of the Kansas City Police Department. "But it would be reasonable to say he left and came back and had taken advantage of some of the things she had that he didn't have, like food, water and electricity."

Logsdon, 51, suspected of killing two people in the parking lot of Ward Parkway Center on Sunday and injuring a police officer who had stopped him earlier, was shot to death by police at the mall. Seven others were injured.

First death not proven

Patricia Ann Reed, 67, was found dead in her home about two hours before police stopped Logsdon for driving Reed's car. Police have not said Logsdon killed Reed, but Booth said the evidence was pointing in that direction.

"We haven't technically proved it yet," Booth said. "But it's more probable than not that he's the person responsible for her death."

Booth could not confirm a report in The Kansas City Star that Logsdon used a semiautomatic rifle that belonged to Reed's late husband in the rampage at Ward Parkway.

Police said Reed had been beaten to death but they were also still awaiting test results to determine how long Reed had been dead, but it was likely a few days, Booth said. Reed was last seen by her family April 21.

The Kansas City Star also reported Wednesday that Logsdon used Reed's credit card to buy empty magazines for the rifle he used in the shootings at Ward Parkway Center. Police said Logsdon used Reed's credit card five days before the mall shooting to buy three 20-round magazines. Police said it was unclear where he got the bullets.

Police found Reed's credit card in Logsdon's pocket, the Star reported.

Water, electricity cut off

It's likely Logsdon had been using Reed's home because of the deteriorating condition of his own home, where Logsdon had to improvise because the electricity and water were cut off after he did not pay the bills.

"He had been using one of those jumbo plastic square containers of kitty litter that was in the center in the bathroom floor, and it was apparent that he was using that to defecate in," Booth said.

"I have seen more disgusting homes, that's for sure," Booth said. "But most of those are related to drug addicts and stuff like that."

Booth also said Logsdon had other financial problems, including "debt and foreclosures issues."

Logsdon's house, which was where he grew up and lived with his mother until she was put in a nursing home, was unkempt and a "walk back in time," Booth said. But police have not found evidence of a suicide note or anything to explain his actions.

"There was a lot of old mail that had accumulated, some was so old they were yellow," Booth said. "The kitchen was dated and felt very retro. He had plenty of bowls on the floor for food for the cats and a half-opened bag of cat food, and opened cans of wet cat food on the kitchen table."

Vigil slated for tonight

Logsdon had also made a little living space for himself above the garage, where he kept books about weapons, survival and magic, Booth said.

According to Logsdon's sister, Kathy Cagg, Logsdon had a history of mental illness, and was taken for evaluation in October 2005, but had been released after six hours.

Ward Parkway Center scheduled a public candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. today at the mall.

"By giving the community the opportunity to come together, we hope we can re-establish some sense of normalcy, ultimately helping them begin the healing process," said Chuck Oglesby of Property Management of Developers Diversified Realty, owner and manager of the property.

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