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Arrest made in 2010 killing of Shawnee liquor store owner

Updated: 2013-05-28T14:52:25Z


The Kansas City Star

Three long years of uncertainty are over for the family of slain Shawnee liquor store owner Gerry Grovenburg.

News of an arrest in the case has the family pleased that police never gave up on solving the crime.

“It was a welcome phone call,” said Grovenburg’s younger brother, Duane Grovenburg of Connecticut. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The 33-year-old suspect was arrested May 17 in Arkansas, where he was living in the town of Blytheville, just south of the Missouri Bootheel. He was booked into the Johnson County Jail on Friday and is being held on a bond of $1 million on a charge of first-degree murder, according to jail records.

His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Gerry Grovenburg, 61, of Spring Hill, was killed May 12, 2010, inside the store at 7635 Quivira Road. He had operated the store for 35 years and was talking about retirement in the near future, family members told The Star at the time.

His widow, Mary Ellen Grovenburg, said she has seen photos of the suspect in the media and did not recognize him as a customer.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Monday night that he would be able to provide more information Tuesday about the case.

Duane Grovenburg said he did not want to comment on any aspects of the investigation and charges.

“This is just the beginning of the legal process,” he said.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to

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