Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2004

Body found near tracks in Leavenworth County

February 12, 2004

Authorities are investigating the death of a 29-year-old Eudora man whose body was found Tuesday along railroad tracks west of Bonner Springs.

According to Sgt. John Schermbeck of the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department, Union Pacific Railroad crews found the body of John Schmidt about 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The discovery was made between Loring Drive and the Kansas River, near cold-storage caves in extreme southeastern Leavenworth County.

"We don't know how he died," Schermbeck said late Tuesday. "We don't know why he was where he was."

Schermbeck said officers had traced Schmidt's activities until about 9:30 p.m. Monday, when he was at the home of relatives in Eudora.

"We're just trying to find some people who knew what he was doing on the evening of the ninth or the morning of the 10th," Schermbeck said Tuesday.

It is possible Schmidt was on a train.

"There's some speculation he may have fallen from the train," Schermbeck said. "He's got some lacerations. We don't know how he got them, but the could have gotten them from falling from the train."

Schmidt's body was about eight feet from the railroad tracks.

He said officials identified Schmidt through identification papers on his body, which was fully clothed. Schermbeck said Schmidt was wearing a coat.

An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday morning at the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, Kan., Schermbeck said.

Anyone with information about Schmidt is asked to call the Leavenworth County sheriff's office, (913) 682-5724.

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