Archive for Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Police identify body found beneath Kansas River bridge; foul play not suspected

Lawrence Police officers investigate Wednesday after the body of a white male was found under the Kansas River bridge. There were no apparent signs of foul play, police said.

Lawrence Police officers investigate Wednesday after the body of a white male was found under the Kansas River bridge. There were no apparent signs of foul play, police said.

October 29, 2008, 4:11 p.m. Updated October 29, 2008, 6:46 p.m.

Body found under bridge spurs police inquiry

Lawrence police are investigating the death of a 53-year-old transient man whose body was found under the Kansas River bridge. Enlarge video

Body discovered beneath Kansas River bridge

Police investigate a body discovered underneath the Kansas River bridge on Wednesday afternoon. Enlarge video

Lawrence police officers Wednesday investigate the area where a dead body was found, on the south side of the river beneath the southbound span of the bridge.

Lawrence police officers Wednesday investigate the area where a dead body was found, on the south side of the river beneath the southbound span of the bridge.

Lawrence police are investigating the death of a 53-year-old transient man whose body was found under the Kansas River bridge.

This is the third death among the city's homeless population in five days.

Police received a call at 3:36 p.m. Wednesday about the body of John Walters, which was discovered under the southbound bridge over the river. Police blocked the area with crime scene tape and photographed the area.

"There are no apparent signs of foul play," said Sgt. Troy Squire at 6 p.m.

Police spokesman Sgt. Bill Cory said Walters appeared to have "some medical issues" and that an autopsy was planned.

A manager at First State Bank, 609 Vt., said a man came into the bank and asked for someone to call 911 to report the body.

"He did say that he tried to wake the person, and he was not able to wake (the person)," she said.

"It's definitely disturbing and disheartening," said Lara Burger, who lives across the street from Constant Park, near where Walters' body was found. "It's very sad. It's unfortunate."

Another body was found in this area in August 2000. Police eventually determined the body was that of a homeless woman from Ottawa who had moved to Lawrence. The area has long been a popular campsite for homeless people.

"I see homeless people down there every once in awhile," said Zach Campbell, who lives in the area. "A lot of people just kind of sit out during the day : and at nighttime you see people fishing every once in awhile."

Two men were found dead in a tent last Friday in east Lawrence, at a well-known campsite for local homeless people. Police said the men died of drug overdoses. The bodies were found in a wooded area just north of the Amtrak station, east of the Riverfront Mall.

Comments

Steve Jacob 6 years, 8 months ago

To be honest, just as easily, people could have walked by the body all morning and thought it was just some bum sleeping.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 8 months ago

Just thinking out loud, but if this an OD, and it was the same stuff/stash that the two others died from, we got a major problem in this town.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

Teacher 101, You are full of it. I am glad you aren't teaching my kids. You don't know what you are talking about.It is not the rich's fault that some people are born dysfuntional.

John Hamm 6 years, 8 months ago

Wasn't ready for the cold snap.A shame but a fairly gentle way to go if he froze to death in his sleep. Sure beats a burning auto!

squishypoet 6 years, 8 months ago

hawkperchedatriverfront-That's not necessary; but the article states "This is the third death among the city's homeless population in five days." I suppose if by "among" they mean physically located in the midst of the homeless population that statement works... but at least one of the two men who died last week was NOT homeless, and therefore could not be considered part of the homeless population.

shutnmdown 6 years, 8 months ago

OMG I am so glad I didn't go under that bridge. My son who is 9 wanted to walk that way and I said no, he said yea. My gosh we could of stumbled up on it. Yikes...that's forreal foreal...we were their at least by 2:30pm and I am glad we weren't the ones to find her. God bless her soul

kustudent123 6 years, 8 months ago

I can't seem to find the story. Do you have the link?

howie1 6 years, 8 months ago

Ok here is the deal... i was homeless at one point when i first moved to lawrence but i had a job and i worked my way from the bottom to the top i do not feel for any of the moochers or dope head homeless people. everyone can get a job in lawrence, all you have to do is shave, and cut your hair, go to goodwill and get some clothes and get a life and job. i am tired of the people holding signs and coming up to my truck asking me for money.

towanda54 6 years, 8 months ago

Aw.......The myth of the Lawrence being a mecca for homeless people. Prove it, not with some anecdotal story from your brother-in-law's cousins baby's mama, but real evidence. I'm sure they come here because of the nice weather and the very friendly people, like teacher and bearded gnome. Not.

Luxor 6 years, 8 months ago

srj, that's exactly what I was thinking

bearded_gnome 6 years, 8 months ago

Police spokesman Sgt. Bill Cory said Walters appeared to have "some medical issues" and that an autopsy was planned.---what a sad way to die. and I think one can conclude this man died of being homeless. I'm sure he could've avoided death through Health Care access, srs, ssi, etc. wonder if he left a grieving family. a few local bums I've known of had actual good families, but they chose the "homeless lifestyle," including good ol' Louie Galloway. now, he's livin' the inmate lifestyle.

Tony Holladay 6 years, 8 months ago

bearded_gnomedoing more to discourage out of town homeless from coming here_____That's kinda hard to do when neighboring cities law enforcement tell there homeless to "Go to Lawrence"

MIke Mallory 6 years, 8 months ago

figures that a teacher is so uninformed, it doesnt surprise me that you would say go obama. are you the one holding the honk for hemp sign that my son asked me about the other day. what a joke, when obama does win there will be twice as many homeless in town!!!!!!!

Deja Coffin 6 years, 8 months ago

I know this is really not very sympathetic but man, that officer in the photo is hot!!!My thoughts and prayers are with the family and I do hope that the police find that this was a natural death and no foul play was involved.

squishypoet 6 years, 8 months ago

agl (Anonymous) says:ljworld-please get your story straight. As I understand it, the two individuals that died in the tent were not homeless. They enjoyed camping in that specific area._______It's called FACT CHECKING, LJW!!! There were memorial services for one of the young men who died on Friday this evening. Send somebody over there to talk to the people who actually knew the deceased. Talk to one of the many ROOMMATES from the HOUSE where one of those guys lived.Or not. You could just keep smearing the names of these people by printing lies. That works too.

jonas_opines 6 years, 8 months ago

Before we get carried away.Teacher101 = FakeFirst post in profile:teacher101 says: "Homeless people?? Lawrence has a transient problem. The true Lawrence homeless will never be helped due to the transients taking all of the help."Then of course there's this gem.teacher101 says: "Nice choice for President. An old guy or a muslim."Just a troll. A troll trying to link themselves as an Obama crazy to discredit him. I see no reason, due to the total lack of credibility or legitimacy, to believe that they are a teacher at all.You could read the rest of the profile, but I don't necessarily recommend that.

triplegoddess13 6 years, 8 months ago

nuby-I don't know what scanner you're listening to at night but it isn't the one for Lawrence. There are hardly any dealings with the transient population. Most of it, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, deals with bar fights and lost drunk people.

towanda54 6 years, 8 months ago

Regarding teacher101's comments, Of course she is being sarcastic, just read through her other posts. She is very judgmental, one of those Pharisee's they talk about in the Bible. Thank god she is not educating my children!!! Scary!

Steve Jacob 6 years, 8 months ago

"The one with a couple grocery carts and had a bed set up."That dude is scary! He is probably 6'5, 400-500 pounds and was wearing a large lock and chain around is neck.

Rick Aldrich 6 years, 8 months ago

do we not have any reporters? kinda sucks watching a video with no explanation.

Puff_Dragon 6 years, 8 months ago

Quick everyone...to the t.v. ....."The Chosen One",Numero Uno is on b.s.'ing

bearded_gnome 6 years, 8 months ago

Lawrence needs to get more money for our homeless. We waste money on so many other things. The rich need to start paying more in taxes. They need to paytheir share. The homeless are not being helped and it is the rich's problem.---teacher3.1415926excuse me?did the rich make this guy homeless? start on drugs? did the rich make him select the homeless lifestyle? how'n heck do you get that? conspiracy, eh consumer? did I miss something?
cheeseburger, you are right, our community attracts bums, that's what they are, from around the country. services need to change how they provide to homeless. the out-of-towners got her, they can leave when they're cut off. too many are homeless because of their own choices. if more had been expected from this man found dead under a bridge, would he be alive today? if he had to make better choices in order to eat and get shelter during bad weather, perhaps he would be alive. "hitting bottom" does work for many people, and when you provide no-strings care, you prevent people from bottoming-out. you save them from that while they go on destroying their lives.

Stephanie Anderson 6 years, 8 months ago

hawkperchedatriverfront - I'm not interested in debating whether or not it was an actual campsite and/or if they had the right to be there. If you read the above article it states, "This is the third death among the city's homeless population in five days." I'm merely pointing out the fact that this information is false.

jackpot 6 years, 8 months ago

Hey kustudent try the daily ku paper from mon they than the name of the man and pics of the people moving the body

Quigly 6 years, 8 months ago

"consumer1 (Anonymous) says:Time for the conspiracy theorist to start. Hmmm ???"Here here. Chupacabra?

bearded_gnome 6 years, 8 months ago

and there certainly are a lot of homeless on foot through that area, along the river, sometimes on the levee. again, I ask, would this person be alive if he weren't homeless? should we be doing more to: get people out of homelessness by requiring better behavior for handouts; doing more to discourage out of town homeless from coming here? now, before somebody gets all redintheface! let me be very clear, I wish this man were alive, and not homeless. and I feel too often services only serve to make people comfortable in their self-destruction.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

Meatwad.You are advocating for more state hospitals, not going to happen. Democrats think this is demeaning, and no one wants to spend the money.

kustudent123 6 years, 8 months ago

I can't seem to find anything about the death investigation at 12th and Mississippi that was up a couple of days ago? Anyone know anything?

M. Lindeman 6 years, 8 months ago

teacher101 (Anonymous) says: Lawrence needs to get more money for our homeless. We waste money on so many other things. The rich need to start paying more in taxes. They need to pay their share. The homeless are not being helped and it is the rich's problem.Sweet Jesus, people of your ilk scare the hell out of me. How is it the rich's problem???? If you feel that guilty about it donate your checking account and stop offering anyone else's money. If you want to be a socialist, PLEASE move to a European country. Try living in the real world before you open your mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 8 months ago

I don't see a certain LJW poster on here rejoicing about freed-up oxygen. That is good to see.I would bet that many homeless folks are suffering from untreated mental illness. It is just darn unfortunate.

Deja Coffin 6 years, 8 months ago

Hey I was just showing an appreciation for the opposite sex...nothing more! And what the heck is SDS?

Stephanie Anderson 6 years, 8 months ago

ljworld--please get your story straight. As I understand it, the two individuals that died in the tent were not homeless. They enjoyed camping in that specific area.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Haiku. I'm not sure I've ever had an interaction with a homeless individual who I thought was 'all there,' but I guess you have been on the front lines.

nuby 6 years, 8 months ago

This is the one subject that gets me fired up. I am seriously considering moving out of this town because of all the homeless and I have lived here all my life minus my time at college. I can't even take my kids downtown or to South Park. They harass you, urinate and defecate in our parks. Been to South Park lately? It reeks of urine. There are homeless having sex in the middle of the park. You have to sanitize the play equipment before you can let your kids play on it. Ask any police officer in this town what they spend the majority of their time on. People always want to criticize the police department but listen to a scanner on any given night and you will realize the ridiculous amount of time they spend on the homeless that keeps them from doing their real jobs. The City Commission needs to put a stop to all this nonsense. The Drop In Center is a nuisance and should be shut down. They allow people that are drunk and on drugs to use their services. Stop all the freebies to these undeserving people maybe then Lawrence would not attract all of these lowlifes. Maybe our poor Parks & Rec people wouldn't have to clean up their urine, feces and trash from our parks anymore and it wouldn't be scary to go downtown. Before someone says it, I am not totally heartless. I think the Salvation Army does good things. They do not allow drunks and drug abusers to use their services. They actually help people find jobs. Amazing concept.

shutnmdown 6 years, 8 months ago

that is what they are implying i am merely responding to what was under the bridge, i didn't go look, for some reason i chose to go in the other direction til i seen a weird looking man over by the design by the rocks and said f this we are going to be leaving...

Haiku_Cuckoo 6 years, 8 months ago

I would bet that many homeless folks are suffering from untreated mental illness. ===Having worked with the homeless for several years, I can tell you that mental illness issues account for less than 20% of the homeless population.

bearded_gnome 6 years, 8 months ago

so, apparently, teacher3.1415926 really believes the crapola she/he has been posting? wow, wish I knew where teacher5150 was teaching at! what in heck is mixed in with the lessons on the blackboard?That's kinda hard to do when neighboring cities law enforcement tell there homeless to "Go to Lawrence"oh yes, Centurion,so maybe some of our homeless money should be used for: one way return tickets; suing the cities that dump their homeless here to recover costs and for mental anguish and punitive damages? not a bad idea. that'd stop the dumping fast!and nuby is right, downtown, parks, occasionally the levee, its time to clean up lawrence. and howie is right, one certainly can get a job if they wish to go right. ***Ottr,my ref to those services comes from the facts in the article, maybe you didn't read the update, indicates existing medical condition. and by law we provide assistance to people who are unable to work due to disability. multi, I know health care access moves people out who are beyond their capacity, that is an ethical issue. but if someone is that sick there's other resources. and, no, I'm not saying that someone who is a bum and chosing to live homeless should be maintained by SSI/SRS. quite the opposite. to get these he would have to take some initiative.

Shane Garrett 6 years, 8 months ago

Why, oh why can't the United States Government give each homeless person a free home. Why can't the United States Government give each homeless person free medical care. Why can't the United States Government give each homeless person free food? Why do I have to work for a living, pay rent and buy my own food? Why do I have to be responsible for my own life. Cannot the United States Government take care of me?

fourkitties 6 years, 8 months ago

Every person whether they are homeless or not should have a place where they can get food and a place to sleep at night. Whether it be a tent, a bridge, a homeless shelter or your own home.Thankfully we have LINK, and Salvation Army, and help with health care access. If there are people out there that need help from SSI, SSDI, or SRS then let them need help. For people out there who really think that there are people getting this help because they "don't want to work" you've let your mind become ignorant. Some are single mothers trying desperately to get back on their feet and need a little help right now (won't go on forever), some are extreme disabilities (wheel chair bound, bed bound..) some are disabled because of back surgeries, leg surgeries, (other surgeries that have completely hindered them from working) Others are mental disabilities (down syndrome, cerebral palsy, anxiety so bad they can't go out of their house etc...)There are people who work and just don't make enough and need extra help. We shouldn't turn them down for anything they need. Now.. there is a group of people who actually are against the government and don't believe in working and don't get benefits they just get what they can from pan handling. BUT this doesn't mean we shouldn't offer them food or a place to sleep on their way out of town or into town. They aren't less of a human they just have different beliefs than others. No matter what categorie you are in you deserve food, shelter and medicine when you need it.

jonas_opines 6 years, 8 months ago

Sorry, teacher, too many internal contradictions in your posting profile. Since we can't tell which one your really believe, the assumption that it's all fake is still the safest. But I will add the possibility of simply being ethically defunct. If neither of those were your intention, I would suggest that you try again. Start a new user name, and try to act sane, and maybe we'll buy it the second time around.

Meatwad 6 years, 8 months ago

Someday there is going to be a real tragedy here in Lawrence. Like in New York when a homeless man smashed a young man's head in with a brick. Another homeless man pushed a girl off the subway platform as a trian came. Both victims are dead. Their young lives snuffed out because these drug addicted and mentally unstable people were set loose upon the city.

Meatwad 6 years, 8 months ago

This city is much too attractive to homeless people and things are only going to get worse until they are less 'rewarded' for being homeless. I'm not talking about all of them, but a large number. Do you realize that many of them have cell phones and they call their buddies in other cites and tell them to come to Lawrence? It's sad because there are some people who really just need some temporary help to get back on their feet, and they aren't drug/alcohol addicts. They want to work. But unfortunately there are MANY MANY others who are drug or alcohol addicted OR mentally unable to function/work for a living, and there is no one helping them. If there was somene helping them, they wouldn't be out and about all day and night, they would be in a facility. But they aren't in a facility, they are just set loose upon Lawrence and increasingly causing problems. Lawrence simply accommodates and enables them. Please someone start caring about this problem and find a solution, a facility is needed where they can get help, not a facility that is really just some place to go hang out/sleep/eat while they aren't downtown drinking or doing/selling/buying drugs. The cycle will never, ever end if we keep this up. Meanwhile, we also need to stop the influx to Lawrence from other states and cities, it's getting ridiculous. Lawrence has a skid row like big cities. That's not right and someone needs to care. When we have shelters who let anyone in, no matter how drunk or drugged they are, that's not helping the sober ones who truly are just in need of temporary help. This is a mess.

Meatwad 6 years, 8 months ago

I agree the Salvation Army is on a better track. Maybe the Drop In Party Shelter could be turned into a hospital type facility instead of a come and go as you please hang out for drug users and drunks.

Shane Garrett 6 years, 8 months ago

Hey, Teacher01 Can I ask about the truth? Which party was in charge of the House and Senate when most of that legislation that was passed that put the US in debt?

cthulhu_4_president 6 years, 8 months ago

Interesting that all the people who dissagree with teacher101 choose to attack him/her personally and not the facts that he/she presents. Election season rubbing off on everyone a little, eh?

jonas_opines 6 years, 8 months ago

Hmmm. . . it doesn't seem to be sinking in.Oh well. You can lead a horse to water. . . .

Wendy magillicutty 6 years, 8 months ago

there's enough to go around, why do we always have to think of it as "take from" to "give to?" how about everybody have more-abundancy not scarcity. look for fear in your mind and hearts and question it instead of embracing it.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure that their was some sort of mental issues. ...Usually is. But this country several yrs ago now, decided that it was best to defend the homeless's dignity, and rights, even if it kills them. And as I have said on here before, sometimes it does.I hear homeless folks all the time say that Kansas "pays" better than most states do, and they do come here from all over the country.The unseemly side of human nature is that the more you provide for entitlements,, the more people will line up to get them.And to be clear. M.I. is not always the cause of homelessness as gnome well knows, often it is poor choices, and good ol' fashioned laziness. You really can't fix stupid.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

Oh and Haiku, you are right. Most of the people are just lazy and drug addicted, which I was including when I said "most" have mental issues. But it invariebly comes down to poor choices in life.I think good people have tried to help the homeless. They have volunteered time and rescources, they have tried to provide jobs, food, and shelter. But because of what I said above, I believe this is an unwinnable situation.Maybe some Darwinian process is going on. A thinning of the herd as it were.

Vendetta 6 years, 8 months ago

The only reason teacher101 wants the rich penalized is because he/she is NOT rich. Who doesn't find it fitting to "take from the rich and give to the poor..." I should say "give to the lazy." Why should hardworking people who have achieved financial security be punished by people who are too lazy or unmotivated to get a job and make their own fortune? By taking money from those who have, and give it to those who do not have...in essence society is advocating a sense of Communism...While I agree it is unfortunate that Lawrence as well as the rest of this country has so many homeless people it is not just the fault of the rich. Everyone is dealt a hand in life...you just do with what you got and make the best of it...or swap some cards and improve your lot in life. No one's going to do it for you.

jonas_opines 6 years, 8 months ago

"I guess you have more than enough and have no reason to change."Hahahahahahahahaha. No, I wouldn't say that's the case. I do, however, rely more on my own efforts and cultivation to change my life-situation. I have no faith in the government to do this for me. As for your truth, you offer no true alternatives, just vilification. No sale.

OzChicklet 6 years, 8 months ago

teacher101 (Anonymous) says: The true homeless in our city cannot be helped, to much money is wasted on others. Look at the polls. omaba/biden will WIN!!! Our national debt was under $1 trillion before all mighty Reagan got into office. By the time Reagan got out, the national debt was over $3 trillion. Then daddy Bush got it to over $5 trillion. What happened when Clinton was in office???? Then little Bush gets in and now it is double, $10 trillion. In over 35 years, only Carter and Clinton have made a difference in the borrowing practices of the US. What caused the great depression of 1929?? Over borrowing. What will kill the us?? debt!! There is only one choice for president out there, obama/biden. After looking back at history and seeing the FACTS, only obama/biden can put this country back on track. The rich have had tax breaks way too long. Reagan, Bush Sr., and W. Bush have not saved this county a dime. The blew away trillions. FAKE??? Look in the mirror jonas_opines, then and only then will you see the real problem. When the stock market crashes to just above ZERO, then you will understand_____Best comment you posted. Your satire in your previous postings was not understood.I don't think too many people think money should be spent on the freeloaders. And there will always be freeloaders. Money does need to be spent on those people who are truly trying to help themselves and find themselves in a terrible situation. I've been there, and now I'm reasonably successful, self supporting, and regularly donate to the Cancer Society, public school programs, and other worthy causes.

joeschmoew 6 years, 8 months ago

It's not just Lawrence that attracts people looking for handouts. The state of Kansas in general is known by many to provide more for less. I work at a facility that attracts the homeless and mentally ill, and we seem to get people from all over the midwest. And I've been told we provide them a lot more than say, Oklahoma or Texas. There has to be a fine line between compassion and help for the ones who truly can't do better, and a harder line for the ones who simply choose not to. Often it's not that hard to tell the difference.

KURocks 6 years, 8 months ago

teacher101:Are you voting for Nobama by chance. "the rich need to start paying more taxes, and paying their share". I think they already do pay their share. That's what scares me about you liberals, and exactly what will destroy our economy and market. Keep raising taxes and capital gains, you think the market is bad now, then just wait and see what happens with Nobama at the helm.

Rae Hudspeth 6 years, 8 months ago

My condolences to any of the man's friends or family who may be reading this. I'm sorry that so many people use the comments sections to push their own opinions and argue, rather than hold rational discussions.Maybe we ought to help those poor jobless, sleepless sorts who are up all night armchair-solving the problems of town?If anyone would like to educate themselves regarding the true homelessness situation (not just the travelling gutter-punks), try reading "Madness in the Streets". It's an eye-opener.And for the person who wants to leave Lawrence "because of the homeless people".. really, it isn't much different in any similar town out there.

jonas_opines 6 years, 8 months ago

cthulhu: Not to argue, but I think teacher's potential legitimacy as a poster is an important thing to get straight.

bearded_gnome 6 years, 8 months ago

And to be clear. M.I. is not always the cause of homelessness as gnome well knows, often it is poor choices, and good ol' fashioned laziness.You really can't fix stupid.---TopJyes, indeed. if you throw in the choices of alcoholism and drug addiction, you still don't describe the majority of these. but even many of those with mental illness are consciously making bad choices, and choosing the "homeless lifestyle." do we really want people to have the right to just squat on the land near the amtrak depot? the bridge? down by the river and the boat ramp? when the train was in the park there were a couple of scarey homeless folks living there. few years ago, had a rash of arsons started by homeless/bums. and the worst part is these ultimate slackers take what could help people making better choices, staying at the Salvation Army, trying to do right with a family, etc.
back to the original situation of the article above this thread: it says there was apparently some medical condition that Walters suffered from. ***topJ and I and I bet Consumer1 know that for somebody who's making bad choices to turn it around, that somebody has to hit bottom. maybe that bottom is waking up from a drunk, hungover in the rain no shelter. thus, the "open shelter" prevents that person from hitting bottom and making a change for the right.

Danimal 6 years, 8 months ago

Kansas' state and local governments should stop providing care for out-of-state homeless people. Frankly, if you aren't from here you shouldn't be able to access any benefits or simply loaf around our state.

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