Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Story last updated at
10/24/2007 - 11:57 am

Life On The Beat

A tragic conclusion

By Tom Gentry | Independence Police Department

As everyone must know by now, the sad discovery of Summer Shipp's remains in the Little Blue River was yet another emotional blow not only to the Shipp family, but also to the entire metropolitan community.

The only consolation to the discovery is that it does provide some conclusion to the mystery of her disappearance. The family and community will not have to face the future never knowing where she is. That still does not eliminate the sadness and empty feeling everyone, especially the family, must have with her passing.

Shipp's remains were found by two fishermen along the banks of the Little Blue River, which is part of a Jackson County park. Her discovery led to a four-day long search of the area for possible clues leading to the discovery of her killer and hope for justice on her behalf.

Many people from many agencies were involved in the search. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department, Independence Police Department and cadets from the Metropolitan Community College-Blue River police and fire academies were a big part of the many that devoted much time and effort toward the case.

It is amazing how quickly and efficiently a community mobilizes to work together in such tragedies. The volunteer groups such as the Lee's Summit Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team and the Jackson County Mounted Posse all helped in solemn searches. The Salvation Army was there to help feed and comfort workers stood by each day to do their part.

Many others such as the helicopter unit of the Kansas City Police Department, American Medical Response, Independence Public Works, and the Independence police Volunteers in Police Service workers were invaluable in all that they did.

"Everyone who had a part in the search and recovery efforts deserves our most heart felt thanks and praise," said Independence Chief of Police Fred Mills, "For any one agency alone to conduct such a detailed operation in an area this large would be virtually impossible."

The Independence Police Department wishes to extend our thoughts and prayers to the Shipp family and loved ones who have lost a dear friend. We also ask that if anyone has any knowledge or information that could help solve this case, please contact the Independence Police Department Detective Division at 816-325-7330 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

Someone out there knows something and we need your help.