December 4, 2022


Capturing Magic Moments

Urbex photographers find body in building, police speak of murder

4 min read

Urbex photographers find body in building, police speak of murder

A group of urbex photographers made a grim discovery while exploring an abandoned building in Kansas City. Shortly after entering the building, the men found a decomposing body and alerted authorities. The police then ordered the homicide squad to the scene of the crime to continue the investigation.

Urban Explorers (or Urbex as they are known) Michael Meredith and Aaron (surname not given) indulged in their hobby of exploring abandoned and derelict buildings. After extensive research, they told DIYP that they had found what appeared to be an appropriately interesting empty building. Upon closer inspection, they found that the front door of the building was indeed open.

Urbex photographers find body in building, police speak of murder

Michael cautiously entered and walked down the hall. “It smelled really strongly of what I assumed was human feces,” he says. Apparently that’s not uncommon for urbex explorers, especially in cities with a lot of homeless people. “But I was more careful to look for holes in the ground, so I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary at first,” Michael continues.

However, his friend Aaron immediately recognized that the smell was unusually strong and warned his friend to be careful. “About five to six feet down the hallway was what we first thought was a pile of clothes,” says Aaron, “then we realized it was actually a real human body.”

The body was fully clothed and face down and already in a fairly advanced state of decay. It was obvious that there was no chance of saving a life.

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The men were shocked at the discovery. It took Michael a moment to register what they found, “and then we just ran out of the building as fast as we could,” he adds, slightly ruefully. It was clear that something had to be done, they couldn’t just leave the body there. But urban exploration is often seen as a legal gray area and apparently the men didn’t want to get in trouble for trespassing.

“After a little thought, we knew we had to call the authorities,” says Michael, “it was the right thing to do.” When the police arrived, they alerted the homicide squad to continue the investigation, and the building was declared a crime scene and locked. The men had to give a statement and were then sent on their way.

Michael and Aaron were thanked by police for alerting them and they had no trouble with the way they found the body, nor were they in any way connected to the case.

Urbex photographers find body in building, police speak of murder


Michael has gotten over the shock now, but admits that this kind of discovery is almost always on the back of an urban explorer’s mind. However, he is not new to urbex and fortunately had enough experience to handle the situation.

“I’ve encountered living people before in my explorations, but this was the first dead one I found,” he jokes. Contrary to popular belief, urbexers have a strict code of ethics and strive to break ties with petty vandalism.

“We adhere to a code of ethics,” says Michael, “we just take pictures. We don’t damage anything, we don’t steal anything, there’s no breaking and entering,” he continues. “We respect the history of the buildings. We just want to look around, see what’s out there,” he adds.

Michael has some advice for anyone new to the field and likens it to hiking in the wilderness. “Always be prepared,” he says. “Bring a flashlight, spare batteries, and a cell phone with extra chargers. We always bring water too.” He emphasizes that sometimes putting bodies aside can be risky.

Urbex photographers find body in building, police speak of murder

“Watch your steps,” he advises. He then tells DIYP how he once broke his big toe falling through some rotten floorboards. He’s lucky, that’s all he broke. Many urbexers were not so lucky.

Michael also wants to emphasize the community spirit behind Urban Exploration and mentions that he has received countless statements of support from other urbexers since posting about his recent experiences. The silver lining to the whole experience might be that he builds a local network with other people who are passionate about urban exploration. He even plans to organize some group outings together.

Ultimately, however, Michael says they know they did the right thing. This was a real, living person who may have loved ones wondering what happened to them. If he could help them find closure, so much the better. Not to mention it’s still an active murder investigation and someone is responsible for the deaths. Michael and Aaron may have helped bring someone closer to justice.

Finally, Michael has one piece of advice: “Don’t be afraid to do the right thing. Call the authorities, you won’t get in trouble. Everyone be safe out there because you never know what you’re going to meet!”

You can follow Michael and Aaron’s Urbex adventures on Instagram and Facebook.

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