Lawrence police seek 46-year-old man suspected in KU student’s murder
A 25-year-old Kansas University law student was found dead late Thursday night in a home at 409 Mich.
Lawrence police have issued an arrest warrant for Adolfo Garcia-Nunez, whom police suspect in the death of the student, Jana Lynne Mackey. It is believed that the two had been dating, but had broken up about two weeks ago.
The warrant lists the charge as second-degree murder.
Police Sgt. Paul Fellers said Friday afternoon that the white Ford F-150 pickup truck Garcia-Nunez was last seen driving was found in another state, but Garcia-Nunez was not with the truck.
Police are still looking for Garcia-Nunez, 46, Lawrence. He is 5 feet 8 inches and weighs about 150 pounds. He is a local artist who also goes by the name Fito Garche.
Fellers wouldn’t say whether the suspect was believed to be armed or how the victim, Mackey, was killed. Fellers said more information on the murder investigation would probably be released in the next few days.
About 6 a.m. Friday, Lawrence police officers were gathering evidence at the Michigan Street home where Mackey’s body was found.
According to police, about 4:30 p.m. Thursday one of Mackey’s friends reported her missing. About two hours later, Mackey’s vehicle was found in the parking lot of Lawrence Memorial Hospital. About 11:30 p.m. Thursday, her body was found inside Garcia-Nunez’s home, which is near the hospital.
Anyone with information about Garcia-Nunez is asked to call Lawrence police at 832-7509, or leave an anonymous tip on the Crimestoppers hot line, 843-TIPS.
“At this time, we’re working real hard to get it solved,” Fellers said.
Garcia-Nunez has had at least one previous run-in with the law.
He spent time in prison for a September 2004 incident involving an ex-girlfriend. A Sept. 21, 2004, Journal-World article reported that prosecutors claimed in court that Garcia-Nunez and his 29-year-old ex-girlfriend had an encounter at a local nightclub. When she returned early the next morning to her home in North Lawrence, he was waiting inside for her with a knife and was under the influence of alcohol.
According to a police report, he choked her, struck her and cut her on the arm with the knife. She notified police after she was able to get away from the scene.
The woman and Garcia-Nunez had been in a two- or three-year relationship that she broke off in May 2004.
Garcia-Nunez was released on parole in August 2006.
Friday morning, Jesse Baker said he and his girlfriend arrived at their Michigan Street apartment late Thursday night to find their neighborhood full of police officers. He was surprised to see a few of them still there this morning.
“It was kind of a surprise to us,” the KU junior from Topeka said of the activity directly across the street from him.
Baker said he didn’t know anything about the man who lived there.
“My girlfriend said there was a man over there who liked to do art at night,” he said. “He’d hang out there and do art on his porch.”
At the southwest corner of the house is a mostly glassed-in porch or sunroom.
Knowing that a woman’s body was found inside the yellow cinderblock house across the street was “a little scary,” Baker said.
“I don’t like that at all. I’m glad she’s moving in August,” he said of his girlfriend.
Police continued to work inside the house Friday.
In a release from KU, Chancellor Robert Hemenway said, “On behalf of the entire university community, I want to express shock and sadness at the death of Jana Mackey. We offer our deepest condolences to her friends and family at this tragic time. KU will cooperate fully with the Lawrence Police in their investigation of Jana’s death.”
Mackey, a second-year law student from Hays, received her KU undergraduate degree in women’s studies in fall 2007.
Counselors from KU’s Counseling and Psychological Services department are being made available to those who knew Mackey.
This marks the first homicide in Lawrence since June 7, when two people died in a shooting at a house in the 1300 block of Delaware Street.
Police and prosecutors allege that Kellam D. Jones, 16, and an accomplice, Gage Hauk, 18, McLouth, had gone to 1311 Del. to commit a robbery. Gunfire erupted, killing Hauk and the occupant of the house, Roland Klundt, 20.
In a news conference following the shooting, Lawrence police said that during the robbery attempt, Klundt shot Hauk and Jones shot Klundt.
Jones is charged as a juvenile with one count of felony murder and one count of attempted aggravated robbery. A second murder charge was dropped this week.