Alonzo Brooks

A “Best Friend” To Everyone

How was the body of a young man who had been missing for a month discovered in the same location that had been thoroughly investigated by law enforcement?

CONTACT INFORMATION

FBI Kansas City Office

816-512-8200

FBI Tips Hotline

816-474-TIPS (8477) | tips.fbi.gov

Murdered

Alonzo Brooks

April 3, 2004​ | LaCygne, KS

CONTACT INFORMATION

FBI Kansas City Office

816-512-8200

FBI Tips Hotline

816-474-TIPS (8477) | tips.fbi.gov

Alonzo Brooks was born on May 19th, 1980 in Topeka, Kansas to parents Billy Brooks Sr. and Maria Ramirez. He was the youngest of 5 children and lovingly referred to as “the surprise baby.” He was several years younger than the rest of his siblings, and as a result, Maria tended to be overprotective of him. Alonzo was biracial, as his mom was Mexican and his Dad, African American. Sometimes called “Zo,” Alonzo was described as mild-mannered and good-humored by those close to him. Not only did he not have enemies, but he seemed to be “best friends” with everyone. Friends and family members explain that the 23-year-old was a homebody who preferred to spend time with his family, including his younger cousins, and he loved to watch sports with his friends. At the time of his death, Alonzo was working as a custodian for his stepfather’s janitorial company in Gardner, Kansas.

Saturday, April 3rd, 2004, was chilly. Alonzo had plans to go to a party so Maria told her son to be careful and that she loved him. Alonzo, Justin Sprague, and two other close friends headed to a party at a farmhouse in rural LaCygne, about an hour from Topeka. Once they had arrived, the party was growing much larger than they had anticipated. With at least 100 people in attendance, most of the attendees were not known by Alonzo or his friends. It is also notable that Alonzo was one of only a couple of black men at the party.

According to Alonzo’s friends, he seemed to be having a good time at the party, but as the night progressed, his friends began leaving, each of them assuming that someone else would be giving Alonzo a ride home; sadly, this was not the case. The next morning, Maria received a phone call from one of Alonzo’s friends and realized her son had not returned home from the party. Maria then began calling more of Alonzo’s friends in an attempt to locate him.

After word spreads among Alonzo’s friends that he had not returned home after the party, some of them rush back out to LaCygne to look for him. During their search of the area surrounding the farmhouse, Alonzo’s friends found his hat and one of his boots located across the street from the home’s driveway. Alonzo’s other boot was found in a creek bank nearby later in the investigation.

After nearly a month of police searches by both local and state departments, Alonzo’s family was permitted to search the farmhouse and surrounding property on May 1st, 2004. Alonzo’s body was found fully clothed and laying on top of a pile of debris in a creek just 250 feet away from the home. Initially, Alonzo Brooks’ cause of death was ruled to be undetermined. His family was devastated by the discovery and laments the fact that none of the people who called themselves friends were there to help Alonzo or make sure he arrived home safely; something they are sure he would do for a stranger, let alone a friend.

Alonzo’s case was reopened by the Department of Justice and the FBI in 2019, and on July 21st, 2020, Alonzo Brooks’ body was exhumed in an attempt to learn more information regarding his suspicious death. The FBI is currently offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who has information regarding Alonzo’s tragic and untimely death.

Case Circumstances

On Saturday, April 3rd, 2004, Alonzo Brooks, Justin Sprague, and two other close friends attended a farmhouse party in rural LaCygne, Kansas. Once they had arrived, the party was growing much larger than they had imagined. With at least 100 people in attendance, most of the attendees were not known by Alonzo or his friends. It was also notable that Alonzo was one of only a couple of black men at the party.

According to Alonzo’s friends, he seemed to be having a good time at the party, but as the night progressed, his friends began leaving, each of them assuming that someone else would be giving Alonzo a ride home from the party; sadly, this was not the case. After receiving a phone call from one of her son’s friends the next morning when her son had not returned home from the party, Maria Ramirez, Alonzo’s mother, began calling more of Alonzo’s friends in attempt to locate him.

After Alonzo’s friends hear from Maria that he had not returned home after the party, some of Alonzo’s friends rushed back out to LaCygne to search for him. During their search of the area surrounding the farmhouse, Alonzo’s friends found his hat and a boot, located across the road from the home’s driveway. Alonzo’s other boot was found in a creek bank nearby later in the investigation.

After nearly a month of searching for Alonzo, on May 1st, 2004, an extensive search was conducted in the area surrounding the location of the party. Alonzo’s body was found fully clothed and laying on top of a pile of debris in the creek only 250 feet away from the home. Initially, Alonzo Brooks’ cause of death was ruled to be undetermined.

Alonzo’s case was reopened by the Department of Justice and the FBI in 2019, and on July 21st, 2020, Alonzo Brooks’ body was exhumed in an attempt to learn more information regarding his suspicious death. The FBI is currently offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who has information regarding Alonzo’s untimely death.

“I remember he always used to tell me that I had him too late, because I wouldn’t let him go off with the older kids. But he was my baby. I had to protect him. But I couldn’t protect him from what happened to him.”

– Maria Ramirez, Alonzo Brooks’ mother

What’s Left To Be Uncovered

Sadly, Alonzo Degree is one of the 200,000+ cold cases that are still unsolved. But, together we can make an impact. Here are five ways to help you start thinking about how your insights, actions and awareness can help uncover answers in Alonzo’s case:

In The Next Five Minutes
Visit the Uncovered case visualization for Alonzo’s case to better understand all of the elements of this cold case.

In The Next Five Hours
Sign the Justice for Alonzo Brooks petition and share it on any social media platform.

In The Next Five Days
Watch Episode 4 in Volume 1 of Unsolved Mysteries: No Ride Home for more information on Alonzo Brooks’ case.

In The Next Five Weeks
Download the Uncovered Citizen Detective Guide to learn more about how thoughtful and safe online sleuthing.

In The Next Five Months
Become an Uncovered Cold Case Captain and invite a friend to join you. We are continuously visualizing cold case like Asha’s, and we need your help. Having you as a digital volunteer to uncover answers using publicly available information with our team is one step closer to our mission of finding the intersection of justice, peace, and closure for the families of the murdered and missing.

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