Easom homicide unsolved

TOPEKA — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation announced Tuesday that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is authorizing a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of any perpetrators in the death of a Miami woman found floating in a reservoir.

33-year-old Cindy Ann “Pinky” Easom, of Miami, was found Dec. 7, 2017 barely clinging to life in the Elk Creek Reservoir, according to investigators. Hunters found the victim floating in water approximately a quarter mile south of a boat ramp at the Card Creek camping area on Elk City Lake near Independence in Montgomery County, Kansas.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Detective Chris Williams said Easom was found alive around 9 a.m. and had been shot several times in the head on Dec.7, but she later died at a Kansas hospital from her extensive injuries.

The reward came by an executive order issued Tuesday from Gov. Brownback making the reward offer effective immediately.

Initially, Easom’s identity was not known, and investigators released a flyer with photos and information asking for help in identifying the body found. Easom was identified the next day through these efforts.

Easom was last seen alive when she dropped her 5-year-old son off at her sister’s house at 6 a.m. on Dec. 7 in Baxter Springs the morning she was killed, according to Williams.

“Obviously I can’t talk a whole lot about an active investigation, but her death is being worked as a homicide,” Williams said. “She was last seen at 6 a.m. on that day and she was discovered in Montgomery County at approximately 9 a.m. so she was about 60 miles from where her sister lives. ”

Easom did not have a car and investigators believe she was taken to her sister’s home in Baxter Springs by the same person who may have later taken her to the site where she was mortally wounded by shooting and left her there. Easom’s sister did not see the car or driver or know where her sister was headed.

Easom was living in Miami at the time of her death.

“She was in Miami the morning of Dec. 7. We know that for sure. She had taken her son and herself from Miami to Baxter Springs,” Williams said.

Williams said there are no current suspects in the homicide.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have seen or heard anything to contact them.

“Any information whatsoever, we’re asking for the public’s assistance, obviously it’s imperative that we get the word out down in Miami that there’s a $5,000 reward for the arrest, apprehension, and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this posted by the State of Kansas,” Williams said.

The Governor of Kansas can offer rewards by state statute by request for heinous crimes, according to Williams.

“I’m hoping this generates something that is viable that can assist us in the investigation,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office at 620-330-1000or the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

---- Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at mstotts@miaminewsrecord.com or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1