Crime

Man in June search at KC cave complex threatened ex-wife while on meth: charges

KCPD searches underground cave complex for armed, disgruntled former employee

Kansas City police are searching an underground cave complex for a possibly armed man who allegedly made threats against his former employer and was seen entering the premises Tuesday morning.
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Kansas City police are searching an underground cave complex for a possibly armed man who allegedly made threats against his former employer and was seen entering the premises Tuesday morning.

On the same day a man set off a massive search at an underground cave complex in Kansas City, he allegedly threatened his ex-wife while on methamphetamine.

Kevin J. Becknal, 45, is charged with making a criminal threat in Johnson County and making a terroristic threat in Clay County on June 25.

According to a Johnson County District Court affidavit, Becknal threatened his ex-wife during a phone conversation in which he was “’ranting’ and yelling that he had shot some other people and was now coming for [her].”

When police spoke with Becknal, he acknowledged he had taken methamphetamine but denied making a threat. He said he was “amped up” and didn’t remember everything he had said or done.

That same day, Becknal allegedly went to the sprawling Hunt Midwest SubTropolis complex at 8600 NE Underground where he told a supervisor he had 45 bullets and was going to shoot people. Becknal had been terminated from his job at a business at the site several days earlier.

He drove off and security was alerted.

Unsure of whether Becknal was still in the cave complex, police arrived and instructed workers to remain in their offices or businesses and lock the doors. The site reopened several hours later after police were unable to locate Becknal.

He was arrested later that day in Johnson County.

According to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office website, Becknal remains in jail.

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Katie Bernard covers Kansas crime, cops and courts for the Kansas City Star. She joined the Star in May of 2019. Katie studied journalism and political science at the University of Kansas.
Katie Moore covers crime and justice issues for The Star. She is a University of Kansas graduate and was previously a reporter in her hometown of Topeka, Kansas.
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