Body of Kansas City teen found by Swope Park weeks after family says he went missing

Investigators identified the dead body discovered near Swope Park on Thursday as an 18-year-old Kansas City boy whose family had been searching for him for over two weeks.

Oscar Cabral, 18, was found around 10 a.m. off a two-lane road near the heavily wooded trails by Hillcrest and Oldham roads, said Capt. Corey Carlisle, a KCPD spokesman.

The report was made by utility workers who were on the job in the area and saw the teenager, Carlisle said.

Cabral was declared dead at the scene by emergency medical personnel. The death was considered suspicious by detectives, sparking a homicide investigation.

Family of the 18-year-old said he had been missing since leaving home at 5:42 p.m. on March 3, according to a missing persons flier that they released over social media.

Before his death, Cabral was spotted wearing blue sweatpants and a thick, gray sweatshirt with a zipper at 7:42 p.m. on March 17 near 4124 Northeast Vivion Road, otherwise known as Penguin Park, said a family member’s message over social media.

Family reported him missing to Kansas City detectives on March 18, but he did not initially meet the department’s criteria for an active missing persons case and no flier was released by police, according to Capt. Corey Carlisle.

In Kansas City, it is left to detectives to decide whether individual cases are worth pursuing, based on whether that person is in immediate danger or might harm themselves. Many advocates studying best practices for missing persons told The Star in a November report that every police department should work to keep community members informed of their protocols for reporting a missing person and raising awareness around their disappearance.