Police investigating possible homicide at Cedarwood apartments

photo by: Mike Yoder

From left, Scott Collins and Krystle Duvall, and Collins' father, Robert Collins, stand on their balcony at Cedarwood apartments, pointing to the upstairs unit where Lawrence police are investigating a possible homicide, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014.

photo by: File photo

Police suspect foul play in a death investigation at Cedarwood Apartments, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014.

Lawrence police are investigating a possible homicide at Cedarwood apartments, 1727 W. 24th St.

On Sunday, police were sent to the complex to check on the welfare of a female resident, Lawrence police spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley said. When she did not answer the door, officers entered the apartment and found the woman dead, McKinley said.

Because of the condition of the woman’s apartment, McKinley said that foul play is suspected.

“Preliminary examination of the scene indicates a violent incident occurred inside the apartment, resulting in the woman’s death,” McKinley said.

Douglas County Coroner Erik Mitchell went to the scene and will conduct an autopsy, McKinley said. The victim’s identification will be released after the autopsy is completed and her next of kin is notified.

Police do not have a suspect and no one is in custody in connection with the death, McKinley said.

“Until we have someone in custody, there is a public safety issue,” McKinley said. “We do not know if it is someone known to the victim.”

If Mitchell determines the death to be a homicide, it will be the second for the apartment complex this year and the eighth in Lawrence since July 2013. In March 2014, Cedarwood resident Patrick Roberts was shot and killed during an alleged aggravated robbery.

On Monday, police were examining apartment 13. In the third-floor hallway, items from the apartment were stacked up beside the door. A child-sized pink bicycle rested next to an adult bicycle on the apartment’s balcony.

Cedarwood resident Meridee Helm-Summerville said police on Friday were looking for a young woman who lived in the apartment.

Police returned to search for the woman again around 8 p.m. Sunday after residents evacuated for a fire alarm and no one emerged from apartment 13. Residents were not allowed to reenter the complex until about 11 p.m. Sunday, Helm-Summerville said.

Neighbor Jessie Baber said police lined the block throughout the night on Sunday.

“Half of the police station was on this block,” Baber said. “It’s kind of freaky when you have kids.”

Helm-Summerville said a man lived with the woman.

On Monday, an officer was guarding a black Ford Focus in the apartment’s parking lot. Helm-Summerville said the car belonged to the man who lived in apartment 13.

Scott Collins and Krystle Duvall, who live directly below apartment 13, said their upstairs neighbors were the source of many noise complaints.

“They were always making noise and fighting,” Collins said.

Duvall said she heard shouting coming from the apartment as recently as Tuesday, but struggled to understand the arguments because the man and woman spoke in Spanish.

“He’s always yelling at somebody and stomping,” Duvall said. “We want him gone.”

Officers were at the apartment complex “maintaining the crime scene while the investigation continues,” McKinley said.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Lawrence Police Department at 785-832-7509 or CrimeStoppers at 785-843-TIPS (8477). Calls made to CrimeStoppers can be made anonymously and callers with information leading to an arrest may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.