Deaf Kansas City man’s body found at basement in murder mystery

A Deaf man’s body was found dead in the basement of a home in Kansas City, Missouri on May 5. His name was Matthew Calkins (35) and he graduated from the Kansas School for the Deaf in 2002.

Police said he was murdered. The exact cause of Calkins’ death is unknown and is still a mystery. The story is a bit complicated.

Local news reports say his body was found in the basement of a home after there was a fire there.

I reached out to a long-time friend of Calkins, Chad Nystrom, to share what he knows.

CHAD NYSTROM: What happened was, how he died, I don’t know yet. They’re investigating, but right now they’ve identified the body as Matt’s. They extracted DNA from the body which had been burned beyond recognition. They had to test the DNA and that’s how they identified Matt. They’ve started their investigation.

Alex: Local news reports explain that before the fire, there were reports of gunfire. When police arrived, they found the fire, and called in firefighters, who put out the fire and discovered the body of Calkins.

Police arrested a suspect who lived at the house, Colton Stock, who is hearing, and charged him with assault for attacking another man, Floyd Wood, who is hearing.

Wood told KCTV 5 News that he went to Stock’s house because he asked him to move some furniture.

[Clarification: Wood went to the basement with another man, but he left shortly afterwards. Wood said he was alone with stock.]

Down there, Stock asked Wood if he would like to look at a motorcycle. Wood said when he took out his phone to take a picture, Stock started freaking out and tried to choke him and break his neck. The two fought and Wood was able to escape out of the house. Wood said when he escaped, Stock shot at him when he was running across the lawn. He wasn’t hit.

[Video from KCTV 5: WOOD: “I got halfway across the lawn and he took a shot at me with his gun. Reporter “You think he was trying to kill you?” WOOD: I know he was. Why?”

Alex: The gunfire is what prompted neighbors to report the gunshots. Apparently the fire started after this. It is not known the cause of the fire.

Wood said he thought Stock wanted to kill him because he was a witness.

NYSTROM: Stock started to act up and took his phone. They started fighting. I guess (Stock) thought he saw Matt’s body and took a picture of it. I’m not sure of the specifics. The story is suspect. He changed his story from the first time to the second time, then changed it again. So I’m not sure. We don’t know the full story. We have no idea.

[Video from KCTV 5: Reporter: Fast forward to the day before this attack happened. Wood says he was home with a friend when Stock came over to his home, just around the corner. Wood says Stock came to get his friend claiming he stole his gun.

WOOD: “I said well what are you going to do? He said, we’re just going to have a little talk.”

Reporter: Wood’s security camera captured images of this change on his front porch. Stock is the one looking towards the camera. Wood’s fine is on the right.

WOOD: “And I pointed at him and said don’t you (beep) hurt him. And they took off and that’s the last I’ve seen him.”

Alex: Local news report haven’t said if Stock or anyone else was charged with murder in connection with Calkins’ death. So this is still being investigated.

Calkins’ mother, Diane Calkins-Scroggins, posted on Facebook that a funeral is scheduled on Saturday, May 25. I asked Nystrom to share a memory of him.

NYSTROM: There are so many. He was more of a class clown, a practical joker. There’s a lot of real good memories. Yeah, a lot of them and I’ll need some time to be able to share those. Maybe after the funeral because right now, there’s so much going on in my mind.

So far, I’m doing okay. It’s still on/off, on/off. I’ll feel some pain, anxiety and have some flashbacks, but you got to move forward. Life goes on.

Alex: Thank you for sharing.