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Kansas City police investigate suspicious death in backyard

Updated: 2014-01-29T23:29:58Z

By CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

Kansas City police were trying to confirm the identity and cause of death of a man whose body was found in a woman’s backyard Wednesday morning.

The woman told police she saw the body when she returned home from work shortly after 7 a.m. in the 7000 block of Jackson Avenue. The man had undisclosed injuries and was not wearing a jacket.

Police believe he and the woman were acquaintances, according to Capt. Tye Grant, the department’s top spokesman. Investigators were waiting for fingerprint confirmation of the man’s identity and for a medical examiner’s ruling on the cause of death.

In December, the woman’s home was set on fire and her car vandalized, according to police reports reviewed by The Star, but police did not say whether those crimes were related to the death investigation.

On Dec. 8, according to the reports, someone poured an ignitable liquid on her wooden front porch and set it on fire. Firefighters called about 7:30 a.m. to extinguish the flames were able to limit the damage to the porch.

Police noted the driver’s side window of the woman’s car had been broken and the interior of her car smelled like someone had poured an ignitable liquid inside. She told police this was fresh damage.

Officers have been called to the house numerous times in recent years for reports of someone violating a court-issued order of protection. In 2011, police were called three times in one night after a man repeatedly visited the woman’s home, wanting to talk with her, according to police. The next morning, the woman found that someone had shoved sticks into her car door locks.

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

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