KBI investigating 18 year-old found dead in La Crosse

LA CROSSE  – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and the Rush County Sheriff’s Office are conducting a death investigation after a man was found deceased Wednesday morning near La Crosse, Kansas, according to a press release from the KBI.

On Wednesday, Jan. 17 at around 11:20 a.m., the Rush County Sheriff’s Office requested KBI assistance with the investigation. KBI agents and the Crime Scene Response Team (CSRT) responded to the scene. 

At around 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, the Rush County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a citizen who reported seeing a body lying in the south ditch on Avenue N, around a half mile east of U.S. Highway 183, near La Crosse. Deputies responded to the location and found the deceased male.

The man has been identified as 18-year-old Zachary Thiel, of La Crosse. A vehicle believed to have been driven by Thiel was located stuck in the snow, approximately a half mile east of Thiel’s location. 

La Cross is a town of about 1,200 population about 24 miles south of Hays.

At this time there is no evidence of foul play, but a thorough investigation is being conducted. An autopsy has been scheduled. The investigation is ongoing.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.