Homicide

Trucker found in freezer was shot to death, KCK police say

Updated: 2014-02-15T00:04:17Z

By TONY RIZZO and BRIAN BURNES

The Kansas City Star

An Arizona truck driver found dead in a freezer Sunday had been shot to death, Kansas City, Kan., police confirmed Friday.

The body of 53-year-old Lawrence Peter Muirhead was discovered inside a large freezer in a detached garage behind a house in the 1800 block of New Jersey Avenue.

He had been reported missing Oct. 1 after failing to return home from a cross-country trip. His tractor-trailer was found abandoned Oct. 4 near Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road in Merriam.

Friends and neighbors said a woman with a small child lived in the rental house with the detached garage. The owner of the house declined to comment Friday, as did the mother of the young woman.

Neighbors said she and her daughter apparently moved out after the discovery of the body.

Attorney Michael Page, who is representing the woman, said she and her daughter are in a safe place.

“At this point she does not want to comment,” Page said.

The woman’s former husband, who asked that his name not be used because of concerns about his daughter’s safety, said his former wife told him an acquaintance had left the freezer in her garage.

“She is just as shocked and surprised as everybody else,” he said. “I know she had nothing to do with it.”

Kansas City, Kan., police have not said how the body was discovered. Detectives are continuing to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and receive a reward of up to $2,000 for information.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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