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Northland pedestrian never made it home from work at Worlds of Fun

Updated: 2013-08-02T21:40:47Z

By CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

A pedestrian found dead along a Northland highway on Thursday had been reported missing after he didn’t return home from work Tuesday at Worlds of Fun, police said.

James D. Barker, 31, left work shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday and told his girlfriend in a cellphone call that he had missed the bus, so he would be late. He told her he was going to walk to a convenience store and catch a later bus.

But he never came home and she never heard from him. His girlfriend reported him missing at 7:20 a.m. Wednesday, telling police it was out of character for him not to call. She told police they have a child together.

His body was found Thursday afternoon in tall grass next to a streetlight pole that had been knocked over in an accident on Missouri 210 on the exit to Searcy Creek Parkway. Barker had been lying there for several days, police said.

Police are seeking information about a white pickup truck that was pulling a trailer in the area Tuesday evening. The truck may have damage to the front.

Relatives told police they hoped someone would come forward with information. They were too distraught Friday to talk to reporters.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.

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