Alonzo Brooks’ loved ones are one step closer to answers in the 17-year search for the truth about his death. 

On Monday, April 5, nine months after Brooks’ body was exhumed from its Kansas grave, the FBI announced its findings from a new autopsy. According to a report conducted by a federal forensic examiner, Brooks’ cause of death was homicide. 

When the 23-year-old’s remains were discovered in a creek in May 2004, approximately one month after he went missing after attending a party, investigators called his death “suspicious,” but couldn’t determine an official cause of death. 

In 2019, the case was reopened by the FBI, who said in today’s statement that Brooks’ death was “no accident.”

“This new examination by a team of the world’s best forensic pathologists and experts establishes it was no accident. Alonzo Brooks was killed,” acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard said. “We are doing everything we can, and will spare no resources, to bring those responsible to justice.”