The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that a body found in De Soto on Tuesday has been identified as Brad Cook, who has been missing since Oct. 20.
A passerby walking in the area of 95th Street and Sunflower Road discovered the body. The location is just a mile and a half from where the 22-year-old's motorcycle was found abandoned. Authorities have not yet released details about how Cook died, though they did say they have not found any clues of criminal activity.
Cook's family issued a written statement about the new information:
"Today, at 2:15 p.m. the Johnson County Sheriff's office met with the parents of Brad Cook to confirm that the body found on Tuesday, October 29th, near 95th and Sunflower Rd, in De Soto, Kansas has been positively identified as Brad Cook.
The parents are in the process of contacting family members and making funeral arrangements. A memorial service will be held, however the details are not available at this time.
Family and friends have placed a cross at the site where Brad was found. Orange was his favorite color. Duct tape and zip ties were his favorite methods of repair.
The parents thank the many friends and individuals who participated in the multi-day search for their son. It is a tremendous reminder of how well Brad was loved by so many and the generosity of our community.
The parents also thank the news media for their coverage of the search efforts.
The parents also give a special thanks to the Johnson County Sheriff's office for their extensive efforts in the search activities and the recovery of their son's body.
As with many tragic events, there remain unanswered questions."
At the same time, authorities are still searching for answers about a second body found in De Soto and a local family's fears that they know the victim have been realized.
Family and friends of 21-year-old Jordan MacDonald said detectives have informed them that he is the man found dead on Wednesday.
MacDonald was last seen working as a cook at JT's Bar and Grill on Tuesday night. He was found dead in an open field at 85th and Ottawa streets that sits between JT's and an apartment building that stands alone on a street lined with single-family homes.
Those who knew him said he was upbeat when they saw him at work and they haven't been able to reach him since then.
"He was happy," said Katie Lee, who has known MacDonald since he was a child. "He was in a great mood."
His father is one of the owners of the restaurant.
He offered a customer a ride to the apartment just a block away, because of the rain, and the next morning his car was found in the apartment lot not far from his body.
Thursday, the resident of the apartment, where police focused a lot of their attention, returned home with his wife and children saying investigators told him not to discuss the investigation with the news media.
"I'm just glad we were able to come back home," said Dusty Maynard upon returning home. "My kids are glad to be back home."
The door to Maynard's apartment was covered in black dust used to check for fingerprints. A hole sat beneath the deadbolt where a doorknob once was.
"They just told me I might want to get a new doorknob," Maynard said, when asked why investigators took it.
Maynard said he was at JT's Tuesday night until the place closed at midnight and he had asked MacDonald for a ride home. He said the cook dropped him off at his door and that was the last he saw of him.
Lee described De Soto as a small town and JT's as the only restaurant that's not a fast food spot. She said all those concerned have received immense support from the community. But in a small town environment, she says, there is another element that is hard to escape.
"Having so much gossip going around that's not true, it just makes it even more difficult," said Lee.
Investigators are trying to figure out what happened to him and they are asking for the public's help. They do want to hear from anyone who may have heard or seen anything suspicious between midnight and 8 a.m. Wednesday.
"If they saw anything, heard anything that was even a little out of the normal for what happens around this particular area the night of the 29th into the morning of the 30th please let us know," said Deputy Tom Erickson with the sheriff's office.
While MacDonald's family said police have a suspect in custody, the sheriff's office has not confirmed the information.
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