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Body found in freezer in Kansas City, Kan., is identified as missing Arizona trucker

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at 9:32 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at 4:36 p.m.

A frozen body discovered in Kansas City, Kan., has been identified as an Arizona truck driver reported missing in October.

The body of Lawrence Peter Muirhead was found Sunday inside a top-loading freezer in a detached garage behind a residence in the 1800 block of New Jersey Avenue.

Kansas City, Kan., police have not said how he died, but they said Thursday that they are investigating his death as a homicide.

Muirhead, 53, of Tucson, was reported missing by his family Oct. 1 after he failed to return home to Arizona after a trip to Pennsylvania. Relatives told authorities they last had contact with him Sept. 28.

The truck he had been driving was found abandoned Oct. 4 near Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road in Merriam.

Muirhead was a member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, according to information posted on the organization’s Land Line Magazine website.

He was transporting a load of highway road signs from Franklin, Pa., to Nogales, Ariz., when he was reported missing, according to the website.

He had started his own trucking company several years ago but did most of the driving himself and was often on the road, according to his mother, Alke Muirhead.

She said her son was trying to expand the business so he could hire other drivers and spend more time at home with his wife and two sons.

“He was very gregarious, outgoing and much liked,” she said. “We have no idea who would want to do him in.”

Muirhead had been a bodybuilder since he was a teen, she said. He was described in missing-person notices as very muscular.

“One would think he would have been able to cope,” Alke Muirhead said.

Muirhead’s brother-in-law, Rodney Walden, said Thursday the family is hoping that as the investigation continues, more information will come to light.

Kansas City, Kan., police are continuing to investigate and ask anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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