Authorities identify human remains found in vacant KCK lot - KCTV5 News

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Authorities identify human remains found in vacant KCK lot

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Authorities have identified the human remains found last week in a vacant lot.

Kansas City, KS, police said the body has been identified as 70-year-old John W. Bitzer III, of KCK.

Police said the remains of Bitzer's decomposed body were found by utility workers shortly on July 8 in the 200 block of Quindaro Boulevard.

Neighbors said they had smelled a bad odor for a while. But they had no idea where it was coming from.

"I thought it was an animal at first, but then it was a body. So we called it in and reported it," Lawrence Medlock said.

Medlock and his coworkers were hired by Kansas City Board of Public Utilities to inspect the condition of utility poles in the area.

When they walked up to one of the poles hidden behind the woods, they saw something they knew wasn't right.

"It is kind of stressful. We work out here all the time, and we never think we would find something like that, but we did," Medlock said.

His crew discovered human remains and immediately called 911. Investigators believe Bitzer's body had been there for some time.

"There is a lot of brush and a lot of trees in the area where the body was located right in the middle of it. So if you were walking by along the street, you wouldn't see it," Tomasic said.

The big question that remains now is determining if this was a natural death or if a crime was committed.

Medlock, who got a close look at the scene, fears foul play was involved.

"The way it looked. It looked like someone had covered it up. I'm thinking it is foul play. It looked like it had a rug on top that partially covered," Medlock said.

The remains have be taken to the coroner's office for an autopsy to determine cause of death, which could take several weeks to come back with the results.

The Kansas City, KS, Police Department's Major Case Unit is encouraging anyone with information regarding this incident to please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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