Police investigation continues into ‘suspicious’ death of Lawrence woman, 30

Lawrence Police Department

Six months after the body of a 30-year-old Army veteran was found in her Lawrence home, police say their investigation into her death is still open.

“The case is still active,” Lawrence Police Sgt. Amy Rhoads said last week in an email response to an inquiry by the Journal-World.

Rhoads said police are waiting on the coroner’s report and could not share more information until it is received. She said she could not estimate how long that would take, but noted the timeframe wasn’t unusual for the completion of coroners’ final reports.

On May 5, a relative of Brittany Stewart found her body in her home and then called 911, police said. The day’s police call log indicated officers were dispatched to the 4300 block of West 24th Place for a medical emergency around 2:30 p.m. 

“The circumstances of this incident lead police to believe that this may be a suspicious death,” police said at the time, but did not elaborate on those circumstances. “The investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of death.”

At the time of her death, Stewart was working as a nurse at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, a hospital representative previously confirmed to the newspaper.

Stewart was an Army combat medic who had been deployed twice to Iraq and Afghanistan, her obituary said. According to the obituary, her passion for helping others led to her military service and pursuit of a career in health care.

An online fundraiser set up to help her surviving family described Stewart’s death as “sudden,” “unexpected” and “tragic.”