KANSAS CITY (AP) - A man reported missing in Missouri more than a year ago has been found dead inside a refrigerator in a field near the northeastern Kansas town of De Soto, authorities announced Monday.
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said the body inside was that of 33-year-old Gregory Price, whose last known address was in Ottawa, Kan. Sheriff's office spokesman Tom Erickson said Price disappeared in late 2010 or early 2011, and police in Independence, Mo., were contacted in early 2011.
The sheriff's office says Price's last known whereabouts were in the De Soto area, about 25 miles southwest of Kansas City, Mo.
A tip led deputies late last week to the gated field along Kansas Route 10 where they found the abandoned refrigerator in the tree line. The body was inside the unit's refrigerator portion, not the freezer. Erickson said people occasionally dump stolen cars in the area, which isn't visible to vehicles on the highway.
"Where he was, it's pretty obvious that people were trying to hide the fact that he was there," Erickson said.
Erickson said authorities were awaiting final autopsy results and that the cause of death has not been determined. Price was identified based on a fingerprint.
Erickson said the body had been there "some time" and that officers don't know whether Price died before or after he was reported missing. Authorities want to talk to anyone who saw or talked to Price or his friends around the time he disappeared.
"What we need to do is try to piece together what happened prior to being put in that refrigerator," Erickson said. "That will tell us a lot more than anything we can find out from the refrigerator and from him. Prior to that, what was he doing? Who was he hanging out with? Was he in trouble? Those kinds of things. That is really what we are looking for.
"Obviously he didn't put himself there so we are trying to figure out what got him there," Erickson said.