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Kansas City police say they’re close to solving a 2015 homicide but they need help from the community

Danielle Wilson's family release balloons in her honor outside KCPD Headquarters.
Bek Shackelford-Nwanganga
KCUR 89.3
Danielle Wilson's family members release balloons in her honor outside KCPD headquarters.

In August 2015, the body of 36-year-old Danielle Wilson was found in an alley near the crossing of East 29th Street and Myrtle Avenue. Police and Wilson’s family members urge people with information about Wilson's death to come forward. 

Kansas City police are asking for the public’s help in finding out who killed 36-year-old Danielle Wilson six years ago.

Speaking to reporters Thursday morning, Detective Daniel Frazier compared the case to a puzzle, and said that police are just a few pieces away from clearing it. According to Frazier, police have identified a person of interest but there is not enough evidence to prosecute.

“Anything that anyone has about Danielle Wilson, day-to-day activities leading up to her death, I want to hear about,” said Frazier. “So that I can go through that with the knowledge of the investigation I have — that I can't give out — to see if any of that helps and assists and can lead to additional leads down the road. So that's my request. That's my hope.”

Wilson was found dead in an alley behind a house on Myrtle Avenue in August 2015. Police say they do not believe she was murdered in the alley, rather that someone dumped her there. She died due to blunt force trauma and had also been shot, according to police.

Danielle Wilson's parents, Mildred and Michael Wilson, stand in police headquarters wearing shirts featuring a photo of their daughter.
Bek Shackelford-Nwanganga
KCUR 89.3
Danielle Wilson's parents, Mildred and Michael Wilson, stand in police headquarters wearing shirts featuring a photo of their daughter.

Frazier said sometimes people find it easier to come forward with information years after a crime is committed.

“People change. This is six years ago,” said Frazier. “Maybe someone that had information that didn't want to come forward at that time has had something like this happen to them, and they have a different view of that now. Or maybe they feel like they've matured more, and this is what they need to do now after hearing this.”

Wilson, originally from Higginsville, Missouri, was a mother of nine. Her family described her as energetic, caring and hardworking. More than a dozen of her relatives gathered Thursday at police headquarters to ask the public for help in cracking her case.

Mildred Wilson, Wilson’s mother, said she knew something was wrong before her daughter's body was found.

“I can remember on Tuesday what pain I had that day, and I couldn't understand why,” said Mildred Wilson. “And then that Saturday came and they told me my baby was gone. I think that that was her just telling me that she was going home. So if anybody out there knows anything, please, please come forward.”

Danielle Wilson (left) stands with her daughter, Amari Church.
Courtesy Image
Michael Wilson
Danielle Wilson (right) poses with her daughter, Amari Church.

Wilson’s daughter, Amari Church, said the family has struggled since her mother’s death, and that holidays and special occasions are especially difficult.

“It's really been hard for my family since my mama has been gone these past six years, it's hard to go on about our day,” said Church. “It's really hard because she wasn't here for my 21st birthday, she wasn't here when I graduated high school. She's not going to be here when I get married. She's not going to be here when I have my first child.”

Of the 109 homicides that occurred in Kansas City in 2015, KCPD data shows 51, or 47%, of the cases cleared. So far this year, Kansas City has had 133 homicides, with 60 cases, or about 45%, cleared.

People with information on Wilson’s case are encouraged to call Frazier at: 816-234-5043.

Bek Shackelford-Nwanganga reports on health disparities in access and health outcomes in both rural and urban areas.
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