Crime

Victim found dead Monday was 21-year-old college student

Mickell Tolbert, 21, of Kansas City, was in her third year in the nursing program at Avila University. Tolbert was found shot to death Monday in the 2100 block of East 45th Street.
Mickell Tolbert, 21, of Kansas City, was in her third year in the nursing program at Avila University. Tolbert was found shot to death Monday in the 2100 block of East 45th Street. Photo courtesy of the family.

The 21-year-old woman found shot to death Monday was a college student with two part-time jobs to help finance her future post-academic endeavors.

Relatives of Mickell Tolbert said the Kansas City woman was in her third year in the nursing program at Avila University and held part-time occupations at two different businesses in the metro area.

Tolbert’s uncle, Micheal Watson, said she was saving for the licensing exam it takes to become a registered nurse.

Tolbert, 21, was found shot to death Monday near 45th Street and Garfield Avenue. Kansas City police responded to a report of gunshots in the 2100 block of East 45th Street Monday afternoon. Officers found Tolbert behind an abandoned house, dead from several gunshot wounds.

Tolbert was a 2013 graduate of Ruskin High School where she was named a Nightingale Scholar, which covers the cost of tuition for nursing students at Avila University.

Watson said news of Tolbert’s death has shaken the family.

“It’s one of those things where the shock is still setting in,” Watson said. “It almost seems like a bad dream.”

Although police have not release much information about the shooting, Watson said the family became concerned when Tolbert didn’t show for work Monday afternoon. Later that night, family members began to piece together her last known whereabouts.

Tolbert’s body was found close to 2:20 p.m. on Monday.

“She had to be at work at 3 p.m. on Monday but she never made it,” Watson said. “We spent all Monday night looking for her, and then Tuesday it was more of the same.”

Watson said the family hopes the police can solve Tolbert’s murder. In the meantime, they plan to remember her fondly.

“She was smart as a whip,” Watson said. “Just a great student.”

Anyone with information should call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (474-8477).

Glenn E. Rice: 816-234-4341, @GRicekcstar

Toriano Porter: 816-234-4779, @torianoporter

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