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Father of Steckline homicide victim doesn’t think his son was the target

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at 7:51 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, at 2:04 p.m.

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Jose Flores doesn’t think his 25-year-old son, Daniel, was the target of whoever killed him Sunday night or early Monday at the Steckline Communications offices where he worked.

In an interview Wednesday night, Jose Flores said he feels that way because he knew his son. Daniel Flores wasn’t the kind of person to be in a conflict. “I don’t think Daniel was a threat to anybody. He didn’t have a threatening personality,” his father said. It had to have been a case of Daniel being on the job when the wrong person came to his workplace, Jose Flores said.

Daniel Flores died from blunt-force injuries, and his death has been ruled a homicide based on preliminary autopsy results, Wichita police Capt. Brent Allred said Wednesday evening.

On Tuesday, police Lt. Todd Ojile told reporters that whoever killed Daniel Flores at his workplace was targeting the business and was “there for a reason.” Allred added: “We believe this was not just a random act.” The killer was focused on “someone or something at that business,” Allred said.

What wasn’t clear, Ojile said Tuesday, was whether the killer was specifically targeting Daniel Flores, whose body was found in the basement area of the offices. The business, which houses radio stations and an agricultural network, is at 1632 S. Maize Road, just south of Kellogg. Employees found Daniel Flores’ body about 8 a.m. Monday, and police think the killing occurred after 8 p.m. Sunday, police have said.

Daniel Flores was working Sunday evening and was due to get off later that night, Ojile said. According to Ojile, Flores had been employed at the offices about a year. He helped take care of computer equipment and audio equipment for taped broadcasts.

Jose Flores said of his son’s work hours, “In hindsight, the more I think about it, he was there a lot alone. On weekends and at night … I don’t think he minded it.”

Officers found Daniel Flores’ body in the basement area, where there appeared to have been a struggle where the killing occurred. Upstairs, investigators found disturbances in at least one office.

When Jose Flores woke up Monday and realized his son hadn’t returned to his parents’ Derby home, the father drove over to the communications offices and saw his son’s car outside and a second car. It was around 7 a.m. – about an hour before the employees found his son’s body.

Jose Flores didn’t enter the building to check on Daniel. He said he figured his son was OK, just had to work long hours and maybe slept on a couch.

Later, on his way to work, the father drove back by the offices and saw police cars and a coroner’s vehicle.

“Then I knew right away,” Jose Flores said. He thought the worst. Authorities had gathered at the business. When Jose Flores asked if Daniel was OK, an official confirmed that his son had died.

Jose Flores said he is convinced that his son was in the process of leaving when the killer confronted him. He bases that on what he says investigators told him: that Daniel was found wearing his coat, face down, hood up.

It might sound selfish to say it, Jose Flores said, but he’s glad he didn’t find his son’s body.

“I’m glad I didn’t see him that way,” he said.

“I hope they solve it,” he added.

Ojile has asked that anyone with information for investigators call detectives at 316-268-4181 or Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.

Daniel Flores’ death is the city’s third homicide of the year.

Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

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