Parkville police investigating car recovered from Missouri River

The Parkville Police Department plans to continue its investigation after recovering another vehicle that ended up in the Missouri River at English Landing Park in downtown Parkville, Mo. 

According to chief of police Kevin Chrisman, two officers stationed near Main Street at approximately 2 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17 saw a car approach South East Street going faster than normal. The vehicle later identified as a dark in color Lexus four-door, then turned on McAfee Street and entered English Landing Park. 

One of the officers took position at the entrance of the park. 

“A lot of times, people get lost, they turn around and they’re going to come back,” Chrisman told The Kansas City Star. 

After waiting for the vehicle to return for about 45 seconds, the officer proceeded into the park to see what the driver was doing.

As the officer approached the circle drive near the boat ramp, his headlights revealed a car that had gone into the river. The officer got out of the patrol car, requested assistance and started to follow the vehicle using his flashlight as it was moving down the river before becoming submerged. It was too dark to see if anyone was inside the vehicle before it submerged. 

The Kansas City Fire Department and Southern Platte Fire Protection District later entered the river from the boat ramp at Platte Landing Park in Parkville. A sonar search located what was believed to be a submerged car in the area where the officer last saw the car before it sank under the water. 

Late last week, a dive team helped recover the Lexus without a body inside the vehicle and at this time, police believe the driver was the only occupant. The vehicle has not been reported stolen and the investigation is still ongoing. 

This is the second time this year that a vehicle has ended up in the Missouri River in the same area. On Friday, March 10, authorities pulled the car of 20-year-old Toni Anderson from the banks of the Missouri River near a boat ramp at Platte Landing Park.

According to authorities, Anderson was last seen in the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 15 after leaving her job at Chrome, an adult entertainment club. A North Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department officer pulled her over after 4 a.m. for an illegal lane change. 

The officer let her off with a warning, and after she told the officer she was almost out of gas, the officer pointed her in the direction of a QuikTrip store nearby off of Highway 9. Security camera footage allegedly shows her alone at the QuikTrip, located about 7 miles east of Platte Landing Park.

According to reports, a friend received a text from Anderson at about 4:42 a.m. saying, “Omg I just got pulled over again.” It was unclear if that text was sent in reference to the North Kansas City officer’s stop or if she had been pulled over again after that. Officers have no record of any other officer pulling Anderson over that night. 

The family reported the body inside, sent to the Jackson County (Mo.) Medical Examiner’s office, was wearing the same clothes as Anderson on the night she disappeared. Reported to be a strong swimmer, authorities indicate the cold water and current would have made escaping the vehicle difficult.

That investigation was concluded early this week. See the related story in this week’s Citizen for more details.