Deputies discovered the body of a missing Ottawa, KS, man in a refrigerator that had been abandoned in a field.
Authorities discovered the body last Thursday near De Soto, KS.
The discovery came after a tip led deputies to a field near 103rd Street and Kill Creek Road.
The victim has been identified as 33-year-old Gregory Price, who was reported missing in early 2011 from Independence, MO. He was last seen near De Soto.
An autopsy will determine how Price died.
Price was from Ottawa, KS. His family tells KCTV5 that he had no ties to the De Soto area.
His family told KCTV5 that Price had a criminal history, but did not deserve his fate.
His mother, Elsie Kelly, said he had drug problems, and she felt like police did not respond to her missing persons report with urgency because of his drug use and criminal history.
"When he came up missing and I went to get help to try to get people to help me find him, it was no big deal," she said. "He took off. He's a drug person. He takes drugs. Yeah, he wasn't worth looking for."
"He made bad choices, but Gregory was a good guy," said Larry Kelly, his stepfather. "He loved his children. They looked identical to him. That's why it's going to be so hard to see them and not see him."
He has elementary-age children. His family and former wife said he was devoted to his children and they were to him.
"I want whoever did this to him to know that they've taken him from his children," sobbed Amanda Maxwell, Price's ex-wife and mother of his youngest child. "I hope they can't sleep at night. . . . .Because he loved his children so much and those children loved him so much."
Kelly said she last saw her son when he called to say he had not eaten in three days. She took him to a restaurant for a meal.
"He gave me a hug when I dropped him off," Kelly said. "He told me that he loved me and everything would be OK. And that was the last time I ever saw him."
She said her son called her regularly and she knew something was terribly wrong when she hadn't heard from him for months.
"He didn't share his problems with me because he didn't want to upset me," Kelly said.
She said she didn't even known where De Soto was before she received the horrific news.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS or the Johnson County Sheriff's Office at 913-715-5560.
"What we are trying to figure out now is what happened," Tom Erickson, master deputy for the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, said Monday. "How did he get in that position? What led up to him being placed in the refrigerator?"
That the appliance was closed could help preserve some evidence, deputies said, because the body wouldn't have been exposed to animals or the weather.
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