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Body in pickup not found for 8 months in Kansas City airport parking lot

A Delta Airlines jet taxies to the gate while a passenger watches at Kansas City International Airport in Kansas City, Mo. Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The body of a man who police believed killed himself sat in his pickup truck in a Kansas City International Airport parking lot for eight months before being discovered and his family wants to know why it wasn’t noticed sooner.

The body of 53-year-old Randy Potter was found last week after someone reported a bad smell coming from the truck, The Kansas City Star reports. Police said the man from suburban Lenexa, Kansas, appeared to have died by suicide, but provided no details.

His parking pass is dated Jan. 17, the day he disappeared. The truck’s windows are tinted, but are light enough to allow anyone to see inside. When an airport police officer found the body, it was covered up by a blanket, according to a police report.

“No one should go through what we went through,” said Potter’s wife, Carolina. “We should not have gone through eight months agonizing, speculating.”

Potter’s truck had been listed in the missing person flyers circulated by Lenexa police. The family had visited the airport early on. They said airport police and parking workers assured them that if Potter’s vehicle was there, it would be found.

Kansas City spokesman Chris Hernandez said city officials were gathering facts to determine how Potter’s body remained in the lot as long as it did. The economy lot where Potter’s body was found is one of three lots situated about 2 1/2 miles (4 kilometers) north of the airport terminals. Shuttles carry travelers from the lot to the terminals.

There is no limit to how long vehicles can be parked in the lot, said Joe McBride, a spokesman for the Kansas City Aviation Department. Owners of vehicles parked for long time periods may receive letters and their vehicles are eventually towed, McBride said.

McBride said many of the details of managing the airport’s 25,000 parking spaces are in the hands of the private firm SP+, which also contracts with more than 50 other airports, including O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Washington Dulles Airport in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., and Miami International Airport. A spokeswoman for SP+ said Monday she was gathering information about the parking operations at KCI.

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