Court Documents Reveal Disturbing Details of Rocky Hollow Homicide Investigation

New details have been revealed in the ongoing Rocky Hollow Park homicide investigation. Court documents detail the trail of evidence that led investigators across the state line into Kansas. According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, US Marshals are now leading the hunt for the prime suspect in the case, Elena Flores.

Flores, a 48-year-old woman from Gardner, KS, is facing three felony charges; first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and abandonment of a corpse. Currently, she is not in custody, and authorities believe she may have left the KC metro area or even fled the country. Flores may also be known by the names Elena Torres, Elena Flores Garcia, or Elena Stores. She is described as being 5’5” tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds.

What we know so far

On December 22, 2023, at approximately 8:15 am, Clay County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to Rocky Hollow Park East (14812 Old Quarry Road, Excelsior Springs) in regards to a report of the discovery of a body. That morning, as Clay County Parks Department employees were conducting routine checks of the park, they located a body in a culvert.

The body had been partially submerged in water with black plastic bags wrapped around the head and lower half. The victim’s torso was exposed to the elements and appeared pale white. Deputies said they observed what appeared to be a large quantity of blood near the victim’s head. 

When the deputies removed the victim for examination, they discovered blunt force trauma to his head and face. They also determined that, based on the condition of the body, the victim had been at the location for a relatively short amount of time. Using his fingerprints, investigators were later able to identify the victim. An autopsy performed later confirmed the preliminary cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma, and the case was quickly ruled a homicide.

An attempt to contact the victim’s family led detectives to speak with Flores’ daughter, who informed them that her mother was the victim’s girlfriend. The daughter also said Flores had recently told her children she was leaving to go to Mexico because of a “family emergency.” Before leaving, Flores instructed her family to tell anyone from her work who called that she was quitting her job effective immediately. Anyone calling for the victim should be told that the victim was no longer there. During this conversation, the daughter also revealed that Flores had used her black 2013 Volkswagen Jetta all day on December 21, 2023. 

The story took a darker turn as they continued their interviews with the family. Sometime in the night of December 20th into the morning of December 21, 2023, Flores’ daughter said she had heard “a noise or scream” and went to Flores’ bedroom, where she saw Flores holding a bat and the victim lying motionless. The daughter said she then shut the door because her younger brothers were in the house, and she feared what they might see. According to the report, Flores had someone help her carry her mattress, which had a large section cut out of the residence. (the mattress has yet to be found).

A juvenile witness at the scene said that Flores had told her to “stay in the living room” and not to move while she cleaned the bedroom with acid and removed furniture and carpeting. The juvenile also said that Flores later told her to lie about what she had seen because if she didn’t, Flores could go to jail for a long time. After leaving, Flores contacted the juvenile multiple times by text and phone, directing her to delete all phone calls and text messages.

Upon a search of the surrounding areas near Flores’ residence, a set of drawers, a nightstand, carpeting, and trash bags were found in two separate dumpster locations. The juvenile identified the items as coming from Flores and the victim’s bedroom. The Johnson County, KS Crime Scene responded to the residence and dumpsters and processed all locations and evidence. A search revealed stains in the bedroom, which tested positive for blood.

This map shows the locations where Flores’ vehicle was spotted by Flock License Plate Reader cameras. The Flock LPR located at Old Quarry and Wornall Rd. is approximately 1-mile from where the body was discovered at Rocky Hollow Park.

On December 27, 2023, at approximately 1:00 pm, the Clay County Sheriff’s Drug Task Force conducted an area check of Flock Safety Cameras, specifically looking for the 2013 Black Volkswagen Jetta belonging to Flores’ daughter. Using the technology, the vehicle was identified in several locations near the site of the disposed body.

Locations where Flores was recorded include:
12/21/2023, 7:05:25 AM at West 6th St & Star Dr. eastbound in Kearney, MO
12/21/2023, 7:44:16 AM at Old Quarry & Wornall Rd southbound in Excelsior Springs, MO
12/21/2023, 8:11:16 AM at North Grove Street & Clear Creek southbound in Kearney, MO

Investigators visited QuikTrip (411 W. 92 Hwy, Kearney, MO). They obtained video surveillance footage of the black Volkswagen entering the parking lot at approximately 7:05 am on December 21, 2023, where Flores stopped to refuel. The video footage showed what appeared to be a black trash bag in the backseat of the Volkswagen. 

Law enforcement is still seeking the public’s assistance in locating Flores. If you have any information about her whereabouts, contact investigators immediately at 816-407-3723 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

*As noted above, the victim has been identified, but the Sheriff’s Department has not released his name as they are still attempting to reach his next of kin.

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