Alonzo Brooks was the youngest of 5 children and was lovingly referred to as “the surprise baby” by many family members. He was several years younger than the rest of his siblings, and as a result, Maria tended to be overprotective with him. Alonzo was biracial as his mom was Mexican and his Dad, African American.
Sometimes called “Zo” by his closest friends and family, 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 describe 23 year old Alonzo as a homebody, who truly preferred to spend time with his family, including his younger cousins. When he was feeling social, Alonzo loved to watch sports and hang out 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 La Cygne, 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 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 La Cygne 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 June of 2020, and on July 22nd, 2020, Alonzo's 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.
In April of 2021, a federal forensic examiner who performed a second autopsy released that his findings included that Alonzo's manner of death should be reclassified as a homicide. During the announcement of this information, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas stated that Alonzo's death was no accident, and that he had been killed, officially reclassifying Alonzo's case as a homicide investigation.
Today, it has been nearly 18 years since Alonzo was killed and the investigation continues into his death, which continues to be led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for Alonzo's death. If you have any information, please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation's tip line at (816) 474-TIPS (8477).