Archive for Friday, August 12, 2011

Autopsy results in downtown death may be a long time coming, police say

August 12, 2011

A month after a Bonner Springs man was discovered dead in a downtown Bonner Springs parking lot, police say it could be some time before they have final autopsy results indicating his cause of death.

While an autopsy was immediately performed on Matthew H. Smith, 40, Lt. Rick Schubert of the Bonner Springs Police Department said police are still waiting for toxicology reports to be returned. He said it has been known to take several months for the results to be returned, and no autopsy results would be reported until the toxicology was complete.

Smith's body was discovered in the area behind the businesses in the 100 block of Oak Street about 7:15 a.m. July 11. Lt. George Collins has previously stated that there were no outward signs of foul play in Smith's death and his body had no gunshot or knife wounds, so police did not consider the case to be a homicide.

Collins also reported that police conducted interviews to determine Smith's activities and whereabouts in the hours leading up to his death, but Schubert said Friday that as the case was still considered to be an open investigation, that information was not being released.

Police taped off Centennial Park and its parking lot, located behind the businesses in the 100 block of Cedar, until about 11:30 a.m. on July 11 as they conducted an investigation. Investigators also were seen standing outside a door leading to an upstairs apartment on Oak Street. Mayor Clausie Smith said it was his understanding Matthew H. Smith (no relation) was a tenant of the building.

George Cooper, Bonner Springs City Council member, said he was walking in the area and saw the body before police arrived. He said the body was nude, curled up in a fetal position.


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