Netflix’s ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Shares an Important Update on Alonzo Brooks’s Case

Selena Barrientos
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

From Good Housekeeping

Weeks after Netflix revived the original Unsolved Mysteries with six new cases, the show has led to a breakthrough in the death of Alonzo Brooks.

On July 21, a spokesperson for the FBI told E! News that his body was exhumed from his grave in Topeka, Kansas. The agency is specifically looking at the cold case as a “suspicious death.”

In the fourth episode of the limited series, entitled “No Ride Home,” Alonzo’s story was traced back 16 years ago to the evening of April 3, 2004. The then-23-year-old drove an hour away from home to attend a party with friends in the outskirts of La Cygne, Kansas. It was the last time he was seen alive.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

The following day, his mother, Maria Ramirez, contacted the local police after she couldn’t get in touch with him. Before law enforcement took over, Alonzo’s friends did an initial search but only found his boots and hat in a nearby field.

Almost a month later, on May 1, 2004, no new information had been discovered and Alonzo’s loved ones were finally allowed to go looking for him. Within an hour, they found his body in a creek on top of a pile of brush and branches, which had already been canvassed by the police multiple times.

Because Alonzo's body was exposed to the elements, an autopsy couldn’t determine a cause of death. But overall, his body didn’t appear to have suffered water damage and his belongings were in good condition. To this day, his family believes Alonzo was a victim of a racially motivated hate crime — he was of Mexican and Black descent.

According to the FBI, he was one of three Black men out of about 100 guests at the party. U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister cited reports that Alonzo was “targeted for violence because of his race” and “challenged to fight,” per NBC News.

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In March 2019, while Unsolved Mysteries was filming the episode in Kansas, the investigation was officially reopened by the Department of Justice and the FBI. Just last month, a $100,000 reward was offered in an effort to encourage individuals to come forward with any information they may have.

“There are people who know the answers, people who have been keeping terrible secrets all these years and bearing a horrible burden,” the U.S. Attorney said in a statement, according to People. “We are asking one or more of them to come forward now and to lay down that burden at last so that we can ease a family’s suffering and serve the cause of justice.”

“There are many unanswered questions that surround Alonzo’s death,” FBI Special Agent Timothy Langan added. “Someone knows something and we are hopeful that with the passage of time and this significant reward this renewed effort will produce results and provide closure for the Brooks family.”

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