KC police identify couple allegedly killed by a friend who torched their van and bodies

09/23/2013 3:46 PM

09/23/2013 3:46 PM

Two homicide victims found earlier this month in a burned van in Kansas City, Kan., were killed in Kansas City in a dispute among friends, police said Monday.

Dennis Smith, 24, and Linda Williams, 22, both of Kansas City, were with two friends riding in Smith’s van when they stopped in front of one of the friends’ homes about 1:10 a.m. Sept. 15 in the 4900 block of Woodland Avenue. According to police, an argument ensued, and the friend shot Smith as he sat in the driver’s seat.

Williams, who was Smith’s girlfriend, and the other friend jumped out of the van, police said. The other friend fled, but the gunman forced Williams back into the van and drove away with Smith’s body inside. Police say the gunman killed Williams later in Kansas City then drove the van into Kansas, where he set fire to the vehicle with both bodies inside.

Williams leaves behind a toddler, police said.

Police arrested the suspected gunman the next day on a federal parole violation. Police said he had prior convictions for assault and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He lived with his mother in the house on Woodland, and she heard the gunshots that killed Smith, police said.

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