Economy Lot B at Kansas City International Airport has about 5,900 parking spaces.
In one of them, 53-year-old Randy Potter’s body sat unnoticed in his truck for eight months, according to family members. He had been reported missing in January, and Kansas City police found his body Tuesday after someone reported a bad smell coming from the truck. He appeared to have died from suicide, police said.
Family members said Potter was found sitting in the front driver’s seat, slightly reclined. The windows were tinted, but lightly enough to allow anyone to see inside. On the dash sat a parking pass from Potter’s entry into the lot, dated Jan. 17 — the day he disappeared after leaving his Lenexa home.
“No one should go through what we went through,” said Potter’s wife, Carolina. “We should not have gone through eight months agonizing, speculating.”
When an airport police officer found the body, it was covered up by a blanket, according to a police report.
The truck, a white 2014 Dodge Ram 1500, had been listed in the missing person fliers circulated by Lenexa police in January.
The family had been searching for Potter for months and had even visited the airport early on. They said airport police and parking workers assured them that if Potter’s vehicle was there, it would be found.
Kansas City spokesman Chris Hernandez issued a statement expressing sympathy for the Potter family and saying city officials were gathering facts to determine how Potter’s body remained in the lot as long as it did.
Some of those answers will likely come from SP+, the firm contracted to operate the airport’s parking lots, which hold 25,000 parking spaces. A representative of the company said Monday the firm will try to answer questions.
Economy Lot B, where Potter’s body was found, is one of three lots situated about two and half miles north of the airport terminals. Shuttles carry travelers from the lot to the terminals.
When they arrive, travelers take a ticket at the gate and park. The first two hours are free. From there, the lot charges a flat rate of $7.50 per day.
There is no limit to how long vehicles can be parked in the lot, said Joe McBride, a spokesman for the Kansas City Aviation Department.
In cases where vehicles have been found parked at the lot for long periods of time, airport officials may send a letter to the owner, McBride said.
If the vehicle has been abandoned, it can be towed and taken to the city’s impound lot.
Many of the details of running the parking lot are in the hands of the private contractor SP+, McBride said.
SP+, with corporate headquarters in Chicago, provides professional parking, ground transportation, facility maintenance, security, and event logistics services to real estate owners and managers of various properties, according to its website.
In addition to KCI, the firm counts among its clients 53 other airports, including O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Washington Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. and Miami International Airport.
A spokeswoman for SP+ said Monday she was gathering information about the parking operations at KCI.