KBI conducts homicide investigation in Crawford County, remains identified

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 4:17 PM CDT
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CRAWFORD COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office have identified the skeletal remains of a man found on Aug. 10 north of K-126 on 80th Street in western Crawford County.

Both agencies said Friday the remains were that of 19-year-old Joseph Ruttgen. On July 1, Ruttgen was reported missing by a family member to the Erie Police Department. He was last seen in Parsons, Kan.

Assisting in the identification of Ruttgen was forensic anthropologist, Dr. Alexandra Klales, and forensic scientists from the KBI forensic science laboratory. Due to the condition of the remains, DNA was used to positively identify Ruttgen.

The KBI said Ruttgen was the victim of a homicide. Anyone with information about the circumstances of his murder is asked to contact the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME, or the Parsons Police Department at 620-421-7060. Tips can also be submitted online at

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