Kansas City Police responded to 10924 Poplar Ave. in south Kansas City about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday after the man was discovered in the pool. (Heather Staggers/KCTV5 News)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Police said Wednesday night that the death of an elderly man found in an outdoor pool on Tuesday morning was a homicide, and officers have a person of interest in custody.
Kansas City police have identified the victim as 70-year-old Hal D. Cornell III.
They are not, at this point, releasing the name of the person of interest and his relation to the victim, but neighbors say police were looking to arrest Cornell's son.
Charges could come as soon as Thursday night.
The man has been in the pool since Saturday. Authorities are examining whether he suffered a head injury before landing in the pool.
Police initially said the death was considered suspicious and that detectives had questioned the man's son about his father's death.
Kansas City Police responded to 10924 Poplar Ave. in south Kansas City about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday after the man was discovered in the pool.
When officers arrived they found the victim in the pool.
His wife said she was out of town and when she returned Tuesday morning she found him in their backyard pool.
"She had been gone for several days and when she came back home she found him in the back in the pool," said Maj. Karl Oakman of the Kansas City Police Department. "It's hard to determine what the cause of death is right now. We are ruling this as suspicious."
An autopsy will determine the exact cause of death. Toxicology test results can take up to eight weeks.
Neighbor Gene Lundy said he hadn't seen Cornell since Friday.
"I usually see him cutting the grass or talk to him about something," Lundy said.
He said Cornell was a Vietnam War veteran who lived with his wife and adult son. Authorities say the son was at the home while his mother was out of town.
Lundy said the son had just lost his job and the two men were home alone over the weekend. Lundy said he had an encounter Saturday with the son that he will never forget. He said the son was in a frenzy and said his father was driving him crazy. Lundy said he offered to call 911 when the son fell to the ground, but the son insisted he was OK.
Police staked out the home on Wednesday before taking the person of interest into custody. Detectives spent Thursday combing through the home and gathering up evidence.
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