Suspicious death in Topeka’s Briarwood neighborhood ruled a homicide

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 9:50 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Police on Thursday ruled a suspicious death at a southwest Topeka home as a homicide.

The victim was identified as Jennifer A. Morris, 25, of Topeka.

A suspect in the case has been identified as Jesse B. Lees, 33, of Topeka.

Police officials say they need the public’s help in locating Lees, who has ties to Kansas and Missouri.

According to police officials, officers were flagged down around 5:34 p.m. Wednesday and told there may be a deceased person inside a house at 3444 S.W. Briarwood Lane. The house is a block east of S.W. 35th Terrace and Randolph.

Officers responding to the scene located a deceased person inside the residence.

Police placed yellow crime-scene tape around the house as they conducted their investigation Wednesday night.

The scene was cleared around 6 a.m. Thursday.

According to WIBW records, Morris’ death was the 12th homicide of 2021 in Topeka.

Two other homicides have been reported so far in 2021 outside the Topeka city limits in Shawnee County.

Seven of the 12 homicide victims so far in 2021 in Topeka were females.

Additionally, both of the homicide victims so far in 2021 outside the Topeka city limits in Shawnee County were females.

Topeka recorded 25 homicides in 2020. Four of the 25 victims in 2020 were females.

No homicides were reported in 2020 outside the Topeka city limits in Shawnee County.

Anyone with information on the city’s latest homicide may call Shawnee County Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007.

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