What Happened to Alonzo Brooks from Unsolved Mysteries? FBI Exhumes His Body

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What Happened to Alonzo Brooks from Unsolved Mysteries? FBI Exhumes His Body

Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries reboot has already stirred new development in one of the slumbering investigations it features. On July 21, the body of Alonzo Brooks, whose disappearance and death is outlined in the series’ fourth episode, was exhumed. The FBI is now investigating his death as a potential racially-motivated hate crime.

Episode Four, entitled “No Ride Home,” outlines the evening of April 3, 2004 on which Alonzo Brooks, 23, disappeared after a party in the small town of La Cygne, Kansas. When his friend got lost on a trip to buy cigarettes that night and never returned to collect Brooks from the party they’d journeyed to together, Brooks was left alone in the company of strangers. He never came home that evening. The following day, his friend found his boots and hat across the street from the house the party took place at, but no other sign of Alonzo. The local Sheriff’s department as well as Kansas State investigators searched the area as well in the days following Alonzo’s disappearance, but found nothing.

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Brooks’ family and friends have, for years, suspected his death was a hate crime. In Unsolved Mysteries, the friends that Alonzo attended the party with recall tension between Alonzo and other party guests, as well as racial slurs directed at Alonzo, who, according to the Netflix documentary, was one of the only Black guests in attendance.

27 days after his disappearance, on May 1, 2004, Alonzo’s family went to search the area around the house that the party took place. They found his body clearly visible by a creek near the home, with his belongings in pristine condition and his body undamaged by water. An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of his death. According to the Netflix episode, several rumors swirled at the time that Brooks’ body had been preserved in a freezer following his death while police were still searching the area.

In March of 2019, the Brooks family received notice that the case of Alonzo Brooks had been closed due to lack of evidence. But as of June 11 of this year, the FBI officially reopened the case, offering a new $100,000 reward for any information.

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“In the Alonzo Brooks case, there were a lot of kids that were at the party that night,” Terry Meurer, co-creator of the original Unsolved Mysteries and executive producer of the Netflix reboot, told TheWrap earlier this month. “They were all 16, some of them were underage-drinking, 16, 17, 18 years old. And those kids are now in their early 30s. There’s someone in that crowd who knows what happened to Alonzo.”

Lauren Kranc is an editorial assistant at Esquire, where she covers pop culture and television, with entirely too narrow of an expertise on Netflix dating shows.

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