Police investigate homicide after body is found on porch of Northeast KC home

Kansas City police are investigating the death of a person whose body was found early Tuesday on the front porch of an abandoned home in the city’s Northeast neighborhood.

Officers were dispatched about 6:30 a.m. to the home in the 600 block of Spruce Avenue. The victim showed obvious signs of trauma to the face, but a cause of death was not immediately known, police said.

Kansas City police Sgt. Adam Painter said neighbors reported hearing an argument about 2:30 a.m. near the residence, followed by multiple gunshots. The victim was may have been on the steps of the house for several hours, Painter said.

Several people later approached police and asked about the victim, whose name has not been released.

Police described the victim as a transgender person who showed male anatomy but was dressed as a woman. Painter guessed the victim was between the ages of 25 and 35.

Police are considering the possibility of investigating the death as a hate crime, Painter said.

No suspect information has been released.

Crime scene technicians placed orange cones and yellow placards on the street as they stored evidence in brown paper bags. Neighbors watched as detectives took notes in front of the green house, which had windows boarded up.

One neighbor, Shar Rodriguez, 37, said she wished police officers would make their presence known more in her neighborhood, where she hears gunshots about twice a week. If officers conducted more surveillance in the area, she said, “maybe things would get better.”

“Nobody deserves to die,” she said.

The person’s killing was being investigated as the 63rd homicide this year in Kansas City, according to data kept by The Star. By this time last year, the city recorded 55 homicides in a year that ended with 136 killings

Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

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Luke Nozicka covers local crime and federal courts for The Kansas City Star. Before joining The Star, he covered breaking news and courts for The Des Moines Register.
Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.