The murder of Harry Stone almost four years ago was and always will be the most senseless of crimes.
The 60-year-old property manager was jogging on a Sunday morning in Raytown when someone reached out of a car and fatally shot him. Stone, a husband, father and grandfather, died on Mother’s Day in 2012.
Nothing can change the raw injustice of a valuable life snuffed out for no fathomable reason. But tenacious work by police in Raytown and Kansas City has begun the process of finding justice through the legal system for Stone’s family and friends and for a community shaken by the randomness of the crime.
Authorities this week announced that charges of second-degree murder had been filed against a 24-year-old Kansas City man, Craig L. Brown.
After Stone’s death, his family and friends joined police in pleading for people to come forth with information. But the pieces that led to an arrest came together as a result of good police work and pure luck.
After an auto accident a year ago, Kansas City police found a pistol in a glove box. Crime lab detectives determined it matched the gun used to kill Stone. That discovery led police to the gun’s last known owner, a woman who said she had purchased it for a boyfriend. The boyfriend, now in prison for an unrelated crime, said that he had sold the weapon to Brown and that Brown told him later he had shot someone in Raytown.
Police looked at Brown’s record and saw that officers had stopped him multiple times in 2012, driving a car belonging to a girlfriend. Officers located that car and found it matched a vehicle captured on a gas station surveillance video close to the time of Stone’s murder.
Officers and detectives deserve much credit for putting the pieces together. Stone’s murder has hung uneasily over the community for four years.
Stone’s family needs for the case to have legal closure, and whoever committed such a cold-blooded killing should not be free to harm anyone else.