The Ottawa, Kan., man whose body was discovered in a refrigerator in a Johnson County field had been in the Kansas City area looking for work, his mother said Tuesday.
But Gregory Price, 33, had experienced a series of misadventures that included a prison term in Missouri, and he was having trouble finding a job.
“Everybody has problems in their life, but it doesn’t mean they can’t straighten their life out,” Elsie Kelly said from her home in Ottawa. “He was a wonderful son and a wonderful father.”
Price had been married twice and had two daughters and one son, ages 5 to 10. He also had another child who died.
He had achieved his GED and at one point attended Fort Scott Community College.
“He wanted to be a journeyman in construction,” Kelly said. “His stepfather got him into construction work when he was 17.”
The last time she saw her son was in December 2010 when she visited him in the Kansas City area. He told her he was hungry because he had not been able to find a job. She took him for some food and dropped him off where he was staying before returning to Ottawa.
“He gave me a hug and told me he loved me and told me everything was going to be OK,” Kelly said.
In January 2011 Kelly became worried that she had not heard from her son and began approaching police agencies. He was reported missing from Independence, but his last known whereabouts was near De Soto in Johnson County, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.
Kelly said detectives notified her Thursday that her son’s body had been found there. But she said she did not learn that his remains were discovered in an old refrigerator until after it was announced publicly on Monday. Kelly said she has confidence that detectives are working to find out what happened to her son.
“He didn’t do anything to deserve this, I can guarantee you,” Kelly said.