Kansas City police on Tuesday identified a woman found murdered in her home Monday as Fannie Delia Young, 67, a neighborhood activist.
Police did not release a cause of death or a motive in the killing, which occurred in a gated retirement community in the 1200 block of Michigan Avenue. Police said Young may have been killed up to several weeks ago.
A maintenance worker found Young's body about 3:35 p.m. Monday after noticing she had not picked up her mail for several days. Young lived alone and had been using a wheelchair recently because of declining health.
Young's white Cadillac had been stolen but was recovered, police said. They declined to provide additional details about when and where the car was stolen.
Young was a well-known and well-liked activist in the African-American community, friends said. She started a program to encourage minority high school students to pursue careers in medicine. Gayle L. Richberg, now a chemistry teacher at Northeast High School, joined Young's program shortly after its inception in the 1970s and received tutoring in math and science. And tons of encouragement.
“It was all for free," Richberg said. "She said she was doing it for the good of the community."
Richberg said Young tried to help students reach their potential and was "instrumental in getting me on track.”
"She was a phenomenal person in the community," Richberg said. "She helped so many minorities and women get into college."
Alvin Brooks, a member of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners and the president of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, echoed Richberg’s sentiments. Brooks said Young was an "unsung hero" who toiled in the background for various programs and campaigns.
"She would urge the community to vote and she was very active in my mayoral campaign," Brooks said. "She would make calls for me and I didn't even ask her. ... She just volunteered."
Young's violent death shocked Brooks.
"It does not make any sense," he said.
Police ask anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (816-474-8477).