Family Wants Justice For Man Found Dead Along Hwy. 56

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OSAGE CITY, Kan. (WIBW) -- The family of an Osage County man found dead along a highway is mourning their loss, while searching for answers as to what happened.

The Osage County Sheriff's Office says 20-year-old TJ Kemble was struck by a vehicle.

13 News spoke with his family Wednesday afternoon, who say TJ was a smart guy with many friends, and now they're urging and hoping for any of those people to come forward if they know what led to his death.

TJ's sister Chelsea said his death has impacted many people.

"He was a great person, a great brother," Chelsea said. "He brought joy to so many people and a lot of people care for him."

So she can't understand why her brother was found dead along Highway 56 near Paulen Road early last Sunday morning. The Osage County Sheriff is investigating it as a hit-and-run and possible vehicular homicide.

Chelsea said he may have been hanging out with the wrong people the night before.

"I think there may have been an argument. I don't know, I just know he should not have been walking by himself at 5 in the morning. His friends that were there for him shouldn't have let him walk. They should have done something, called someone, anyone. They know our number, they should've called us to go get him. Just something isn't right."

She thinks that if it were an accident, someone would have stopped.

"I don't think anybody would hit him without doing it on purpose," she said.

Chelsea described TJ as playing just about every sport at Santa Fe Trail High School, breaking school records, full of life and laughter. She said it's not fair he hasn't gotten justice.

"I mean even if you hit an animal you'd stop to see if it was okay. There are a lot of sick people in the world and I hope they find the sick person who did this," she said.

The days since TJ's death have been dark and unreal, she says. "At a loss for words really. We just want him back."

Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn said they've conducted interviews, but no arrests have been made. The office is urging anyone with information about Kemble's death to call 1-877-OS-CRIME.

He will live on through a fundraiser. His family says he played tuba in the high school band, so donations to a memorial fund in his name will go toward sending Santa Fe Trail students to summer band camp. They may be sent in care of Carey Funeral Home, 503 S. Topeka, Burlingame, KS 66413

Kemble was a 2013 graduate of Santa Fe Trail High School.

Funeral services were set for 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning at Grace Community Church, in Overbrook. Visitation will be held the night before from 6 to 8 p.m. at Carey Funeral Home.