A 31-year-old Kansas City man has been charged in the death of David Mendez, whose body was found at noon Friday in a field south of Harrisonville in Cass County.
James N. Rhymer, who was taken into custody after a standoff with police, is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action, authorities said Saturday.
Shortly before 3 a.m. Friday, a woman called police and told them that Rhymer and another man entered her Independence home where she lived with the victim and demanded items from her and Mendez, according to court documents. Records say Mendez eventually left with Rhymer and the other man.
Another witness said Mendez was later shot in the back seat of a car near 12th and Ewing streets in Kansas City.
Court documents say Rhymer drove to a gas station and poured gasoline on the victim’s body.
Another witness led Cass County sheriff deputies to a field near East 283rd Street and Interstate 49, where the body of Mendez was found. A burned truck was found in the area.
Rhymer initially refused to cooperate with police who went to his apartment in the 3400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in Kansas City. He barricaded himself inside the apartment before surrendering about 2 a.m. Saturday.
Independence and Kansas City police jointly investigated this case.
Prosecutors have requested a bond of $250,000.
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