Suspect identified in murders of South American researchers in Kansas City

Officials have identified the alleged arsonist who set fire to a Kansas City apartment earlier this month, killing two South American scientists.

Prosecutors say Kevin Ray Moore, 42, is responsible for setting fire to medical researchers’ apartment Camila Behrensen and Pablo Guzmán Palma on October 1.

“This office also extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims, Camila Behrensen and Pablo Guzmán Palma, as well as their colleagues and friends at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research,” the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said. claim on October 27.

Prosecutors said Moore died Oct. 16 after a murder-suicide incident in Clay County. However, officials were not immediately able to clarify whether Moore died by suicide or was the victim of a murder. The Kansas City Police Department and the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment on the open case when contacted Friday morning.

“We are not releasing any documents or information at this time because the Clay County investigation is still ongoing and we do not want to compromise the integrity of this case,” said Leslie Freeman, public information officer for the Kansas City Police Department. via e-mail.

Photos of victims Camilla Behrensen and Pablo Guzman

Photos of victims Camilla Behrensen and Pablo Guzman

Camilla Behrensen and Pablo Guzman Photo: Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Kansas City police were dispatched at approximately 5 a.m. Oct. 1 to the 4100 block of Oak Street after reports of a structure fire, Behrensen, 24, and Guzmán Palma, 25, were found dead at the scene.

“After entering the apartment to extinguish the fire, KCFD located two victims inside suffering from apparent trauma,” the Kansas City Fire Department said in a statement.

After a Kansas City police double murder he asked homeowners in the area to come forward with any possible camera surveillance that may help shed light on the allegedly targeted fire. Detectives were also looking for recordings of Amazon Alexa after The Daily Beast’s virtual assistant was found in the apartment of South American researchers. reported. A $25,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest following the deadly fire.

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Behrensen, who was from Buenos Aires, and Guzmán Palma, who was from Santiago, Chile, were predoctoral students at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City.

“We are devastated by the tragic deaths of predoctoral researchers,” the Stowers Institute said in a statement on April 4. claim. “These researchers were members of our Class of 2020 and living members of our Stowers Institute community. Our deepest condolences go out to their families at this difficult time.”

Both researchers joined the medical institute in 2020.

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“Camila and Pablo radiated a distinct joy and optimism and love of knowledge from everyone that will be deeply missed,” the Stowers Institute added. “They cared deeply about their science and their colleagues, and both were undoubtedly destined to make significant contributions to our understanding of biology and humanity. The void that their unrealized personal and scientific achievements leave in our hearts is profound.”

Behrensen reportedly had a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from the University Argentina de la Empresa. Faculty and other scholars described her as “a brilliant young woman with a lively intellect.” She was also actively involved as a contributor to Stowers’ Si Lab, The Kansas City Star reported.

Guzmán Palma, whose research focused on spinal regeneration, was a former biochemistry student at Chile’s Pontifical Catholic University and an avid reader who adored music and cinema. He was a member of the Gibson Laboratory at the Medical Research Institute.

“Mr. Guzmán Palma’s classmates and teachers at the Institute describe him as a gentle soul with a true passion for science and biology,” Stowers added.

Authorities had no further information on the open case Friday afternoon.


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