The man whose body was found in a cotton field early Wednesday morning in southeast Sedgwick County was murdered, a sheriff’s official said Thursday.
Jordan A. Turner, 19, of Wichita, was reported missing by his father on April 6, Capt. Greg Pollock said. An autopsy was being performed Thursday.
Pollock would not discuss how Turner was killed, how long his body was in the field, or whether he was killed where he was found.
“It’s too early to discuss any of those facts,” Pollock said.
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Frank Turner reported his son, a former Wichita South High football star, missing on April 6 after he didn’t return home as planned, according to a police document.
“At first I thought he was just upset at me and his mother because we had basically got together and made a life plan that he had to follow,” Frank Turner said. “I was really not that worried that first week. It wasn’t the first time he had went over to a couple of friends’ house and you know just stayed and not come home.”
When Jordan didn’t pick up money his uncle left for him in a mailbox and no one had heard from him the following week, Frank Turner filed the missing person’s report.
On Wednesday, he was turning in Jordan’s phone records to police when he learned his son’s body had been found.
“He was a funny guy. He was really funny. Very charismatic,” Frank Turner said of his son. “Really, really, really pleasant to be around sometimes.”
He added: “He just had a whirlwind of support.”
Turner posted “Leaving town and I’m never kumin back, peace out” on his Facebook page on March 29.
It’s the last post he made on the page.
A farmer who leases the field in the 2600 block of South 127th Street East called 911 after finding Turner’s body shortly after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said. The body was found about 100 yards from the road.
Turner committed to the University of Memphis to play football in 2010, before his senior season at Wichita South High, but ended up at Coffeyville Community College, where played the 2011 football season.
The Coffeyville coaching staff and Turner reached a mutual agreement that he should leave school during the spring semester of 2012, and helped him transfer to Arizona Western. At the time, Jordan, 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, had scholarship offers from Memphis, Akron, Baylor, Middle Tennessee State and New Mexico.
“The fit between (Turner) and the school, and what we were trying to do just didn’t feel right,” Coffeyville coach Aaron Flores said. “We feel like we did everything we could to help (Turner) while he was here, but it just wasn’t the right thing for the school or for him.”
Flores and the Coffeyville coaches helped place Turner at Arizona Western, another junior college where he was able to be on full scholarship, as opposed to the books and tuition scholarship that Coffeyville and all Jayhawk Conference schools offer.
Turner only lasted three weeks at Arizona Western – in Yuma, Ariz. – in the 2012 season, recording just one tackle in the season opener against Ellsworth (Iowa) College on Sept. 1. He was asked to leave the team before the second game of the season.
“He just had family problems ... he needed to go back home,” Arizona Western coach Tom Minnick said. “It just wasn’t a good fit between (Turner) and the school. We didn’t feel like he should be here.”
Frank Turner said of his son’s time in Arizona: “He just had a problem adjusting, socially, off the field. He was getting in little stuff, he wasn’t going to class like he was supposed to. He was falling in with the wrong guys, doing the wrong things.”
Turner had returned to Wichita in late September, drifting between his uncle’s home and that of his father.
Turner is the first homicide in rural Sedgwick County in 2013, Pollock said.