The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 26, 2012

Man’s body recovered from strip pit at area park

By Andra Bryan Stefanoni

PITTSBURG, Kan. — The body of a missing Pittsburg man was found by investigators Monday afternoon at Wilderness Park in Frontenac, from where an unidentified caller reported on Saturday in a 911 call that the man had fallen into a strip pit.

On Saturday and Sunday, search and rescue teams had looked for Mateo Vincent Lorenzo, 22, of 718 E. Eighth St., in a strip pit estimated by Pittsburg police Detective Lt. Cris Hatcher to be 15 to 20 feet deep.

Wilderness Park, a popular recreation spot, remained closed to the public Monday as the investigation into the man’s reported disappearance continued.

The park, at 907 W. McKay St. in Frontenac, is owned by the city of Pittsburg and operated by the Parks and Recreation Department. It is heavily wooded and is crisscrossed by more than four miles of hiking and biking trails. Formerly a mined land area, it also includes at least four strip pits.

“On Saturday, we conducted a search there ourselves with the Frontenac Fire Rescue Department, but we were unsuccessful on locating anything,” Hatcher said.

On Sunday, the Newton County (Mo.) Rescue and Recovery team assisted local departments with the search, which began at 8:30 a.m. and stopped about 4:30 p.m. It, too, was an unsuccessful search, Hatcher said.

At 2:30 p.m. Monday, officers from the Pittsburg Police Department, the Pittsburg Fire Department and the Frontenac Police Department located and removed Lorenzo’s body from the strip pit.

No comment

AUTHORITIES ARE NOT DISCLOSING whether the person who placed the 911 call knew Mateo Lorenzo.