Archive for Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Probe into drowning of woman continues

May 5, 2004

Leavenworth County sheriff's officers continue their investigation into the drowning death of an Olathe woman.

The body of Patricia L. Hicks, 37, Olathe was found April 21 in a pond near 147th Street and West Mary, just outside Lansing. Sheriff's officials have said the investigation is focusing on Hicks' estranged husband.

Sheriff Herb Nye said Tuesday that his department's investigation is moving forward. And Deborah Owens of the Leavenworth County attorney's office said that although County Attorney Frank Kohl hasn't received official reports from the sheriff's office, he has been in contact with officers about their investigation.

Authorities suspect Hicks was kidnapped three days before her body was found. She last was seen at her Olathe home, where police found signs of forced entry. Officials believe she was taken to Leavenworth County, where she was killed.

The day before her body was found, about 100 volunteers searched a pasture and wooded area near Leavenworth County Road 33 and Mount Olivet Road. They also had started their search of the pond.

Hicks' husband, Gary, 36, was charged last month in Johnson County District Court with making a criminal threat against her. His bond was set at $1,000, and he was ordered to have no contact with her as a condition of the bond. Last week, after Patricia Hicks was reported missing, his bond was increased to $500,000, and he was taken into custody. Court records show that Patricia Hicks filed for divorce March 22, two days after the criminal-threat charge was filed. A judge had issued a protection order that Patricia Hicks had sought against her husband.

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