A former Sedalia man is the second individual to be charged in connection to last Saturday’s homicide on East 17th Street in Sedalia.
Joseph Rankin, of Kansas City, Kansas, has been charged with felony second-degree murder, felony armed criminal action, second-degree kidnapping and felony unlawful use of a weapon. According to a Sedalia Police Department press release, a warrant has been issued for Rankin but he was not in custody as of press time.
Daniel Fernandez, of Kansas City, Kansas, was charged with felony second-degree murder, felony armed criminal action, felony second-degree kidnapping and felony unlawful use of a weapon. He was apprehended in Overland Park, Kansas, earlier this week without incident and is being held on a no-bond warrant pending extradition to Pettis County.
According to a SPD report, at approximately 6:40 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 officers responded to the 700 block of East 17th Street for a man lying in the roadway. Officers located a deceased white male, identified as Robert G. Fox Jr., with what appeared to be a gunshot wound. According to another SPD report, an autopsy was conducted Monday and confirmed the victim died from a gunshot wound.
According to court documents, an empty envelope addressed to an individual from the Wyandotte County (Kansas) Prosecutor's Office was located near the body. Dispatch located a white box-style Jeep in Kansas City, Kansas, registered to the individual. Cell data was also obtained for Fox’s cell phone which showed Fox’s phone leaving Sedalia and going to Kansas City, Kansas.
Individuals close to Fox revealed a man Fox had prior problems with. The man was interviewed and stated Fox had come over the previous evening. After Fox left, Rankin came over to the man’s residence looking for a subject close to Fox who owed him money.
The subject close to Fox contacted SPD on Tuesday saying they witnessed a homicide. The subject said they and Fox owed $600 to a Kansas City man who was in the cartel. They said Rankin acted as a middle man or enforcer. The subject said they had been in contact with the man and knew Rankin would be on his way to Sedalia but did not expect him when he showed up. The subject and Fox were going to pay Rankin money.
According to court documents, Rankin showed up at a residence twice looking for the subject. When he arrived the second time, Rankin told the subject to get in a white box-style Jeep with Rankin and an unknown driver, later identified as Fernandez.
Rankin directed Fernandez to the residence where the money was supposed to be obtained from in the 700 block of East 17th Street but no one answered the door so they went back to the first residence, where Fox now was. Rankin went into the residence and returned with Fox. All four people returned to East 17th Street.
According to court documents, they waited for the resident to return to get the money. The subject stated at one point Rankin allegedly started saying he enjoyed spending time with his victims and he cut off their body parts and was tapping the subject on the back of the head with an ax.
Comments were made about it being 4:30 a.m. and needing to get back to Kansas City. A call was made to the cartel man and he told Rankin to “take them out Highway 50 and finish it.”
According to court documents, the subject looked in the back seat and saw Fox on top of Rankin when Rankin called out “He’s stabbing me, shoot him!” The subject said they did not see Rankin with a gun but knew Fernandez did not shoot Fox and said multiple times Rankin did. Fox opened his door and got out and the subject ran from the Jeep. After the vehicle left the subject found Fox and went to several porches for help but no one answered their doors. The subject then left the area and did not call police out of fear.
On Wednesday, the owner of the Jeep was located in Mission, Kansas. The owner agreed to be questioned and stated their vehicle was used by Fernandez Feb. 21 and was not returned to them until 10 a.m. the next day. The subject picked Fernandez out of a 12-person photo lineup as the driver.
SPD is continuing to investigate the homicide and locate all individuals responsible for the murder. Anyone with information about the investigation is encouraged to contact the SPD Criminal Investigations Bureau and/or Detective John Fellows at 660-827-7812 ext. 1247.