Why Alonzo Brooks' Death Needed Further Investigation–and Not Just From Unsolved Mysteries

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Justin remembered a “constant barrage of law enforcement” that he and his buddies were cooperating with, but also said that investigators told him that Alonzo had probably gotten drunk and decided to walk home, barefoot.

“Total bulls–t, that’s what we kept trying to tell them,” Justin said. One, that would have been out of character for Alonzo, and two, he had tweaked his ankle playing basketball and had been limping that night, so “is he just gonna take off his boots and then truck I don’t know how many miles home?”

After weeks of the sheriff’s office telling them to leave the searching to the authorities, according to Maria Ramirez, it was during a search organized by friends and family that Alonzo’s body was found lying in a tangle of brush and branches at the bottom of an embankment at the edge of Middle Creek on May 1, 2004.

“My God, it was awful,” Alonzo’s dad, Billy Brooks Sr., told Dateline. “To find my boy like that. Nothing can describe that pain.” But, he added, “At least we had found him. It wasn’t how we wanted to find him, but at least we did.”

Alonzo’s wallet, with cash, was still on him, as were other personal items, such as a ring he always wore.

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