Joseph Ruttgen

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office have identified the skeletal remains of a man found on Aug. 10 north of K-126 on 80th Street in western Crawford County. His death was ruled as a homicide.

The deceased man has been identified as 19-year-old Joseph Ruttgen. On July 1, Ruttgen was reported missing by a family member to the Erie Police Department. He was last seen in Parsons. Ruttgen was previously wanted by the Labette County Sherrif’s Department on possession of opiate, opium, narcotic or certain stimulant.

Assisting in the identification of Ruttgen was forensic anthropologist, Dr. Alexandra Klales, and forensic scientists from the KBI forensic science laboratory. Due to the condition of the remains, DNA was used to positively identify Ruttgen.

Anyone with information about the circumstances of his murder is asked to contact the KBI at 1 (800) KS-CRIME, or the Parsons Police Department at (620) 421-7060. 

Tips can also be submitted online at

The investigation is ongoing.

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