Man apparently electrocuted, KCK officer shocked during search - KCTV5

Man apparently electrocuted, KCK officer shocked during search

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

KCK police are investigating after a man apparently was electrocuted and a KCK police officer was shocked during the search.

Police would not confirm that the man was electrocuted, saying an autopsy will determine the cause of the death.

But neighbors believe that is what occurred.

Gina Walters found her neighbor after he didn't come home while searching for scrap metal. She found Chuck Ruth, 54, lying in the grass in a wooded area. There was a power line dangling nearby and his bicycle was lying on top of Ruth as he clutched it.

The power lines have since been repaired.

Walters was worried about the missing man after his family said that didn't come home on Friday night and his car remained parked in the area. On Sunday, she decided to search on her own for him.

"We were concerned about his well-being at that point," she said. "I was really worried about him because he never came out and I knew he didn't have anything on him."

She was dismayed when she found his body. She immediately called 911.

Ruth's family said he lived near the trail all of his life.

Neighbors say the lines had been low hanging for months and were hard to see up close, but they never imagined the lines were live. 

"It could have been our kids. It could have been my husband. Unfortunately, it was someone else who was close to us," said neighbor Jennifer Guthrie.

Neighbors never imagined the lines were live.

"I wouldn't have assumed it was a downed line because if I had even thought that then I would have let the officers know," Walters said.

Witnesses said an officer who responded to the scene was shocked after he came in contact with the dangling lines. KCK police said the officer who was shocked has been treated and is going to be OK.

While KCK continues its death investigation, Kansas City police are conducting an unrelated, separate investigation after bones were found near a residence over the weekend.

The Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office will determine whether bones found in Kansas City are human or animal remains.

The remains were found in a wooded area behind a residence in the 4800 block of Noland Road.

If you have any information on these cases, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

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