By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -
Police need help recapturing a Kansas City man wanted in a brutal murder. Authorities say they had their man in custody but let him go.
The district attorney announced Wednesday that Rafeeq Rahman, 32, also known as Howard Hickman, and 35-year-old Adam Smith have been charged in the death of Grandview man.
Smith is already in custody.
Kansas City, KS, officers on a routine patrol spotted a car engulfed in flames about 11 p.m. Saturday near Second Street and Greeley Avenue. Investigators later realized 62-year-old James Jackson was burned alive inside the car.
Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome A. Gorman believes Jackson was working for Smith and Rahman, running drugs.
Gorman thinks Jackson was murdered because he lost the drugs.
A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper pulled Jackson over outside Topeka the Friday before he was killed.
Troopers seized a large amount of cocaine from Jackson then released him.
"Small jails don't have room to hold everybody. Plus it takes a while to get the drugs analyzed. You have 48 hours to arrest and charge. If you don't have the analysis, then you release, pending charges," District Attorney Jerome Gorman said.
Less than 24 hours later, Jackson was killed. After police found the body, Rahman was taken into custody and released the next morning.
"There wasn't enough evidence in the case yet. Early on, we had some indication he was involved, but the case was still being investigated and, at that point, we still didn't even have an ID on Mr. Jackson," Gorman said.
Now, the district attorney and authorities are hoping they can recapture Rahman, whom they describe as extremely dangerous.
In addition to first-degree murder charges, Smith and Rahman also face kidnapping, arson and drug charges.
A $1 million bond has been set for Rahman.
Anyone with information about Rahman's whereabouts is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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