WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A court document made public Wednesday details what police have learned about the day a teenage girl was dragged and killed on Kellogg.
Kevin Palmer, 34, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 13-year-old Brianna Ibarra, Saturday, Feb. 6.
Police say Palmer stole the Ibarra family’s SUV from a restaurant parking lot while members of the family were inside getting food. Brianna had stayed in the car and was sitting in the backseat.
The court document, a probable cause affidavit, has been redacted to remove the names of the girl, her family and witnesses.
Police say they got the call of a motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian near Kellogg and Meridian. While officers were at that scene, other officers were sent to investigate a vehicle theft from the parking lot of the Texas Roadhouse on West Kellogg.
According to the document, the parents said they went to the restaurant to have lunch with their two daughters. Their 13-year-old daughter did not want to go inside and stayed in the SUV. They left the car running while their daughter sat in the backseat.
When the family finished their meal, they could not find their vehicle or their daughter. They gave responding officers a description of the vehicle.
The description they gave matched the description of the vehicle involved in the accident near Kellogg and Meridian. Officers located the vehicle in the westbound lanes of Kellogg near the West Street exit ramp.
The body of Brianna was under the SUV, near the rear driver’s side wheel. She had extensive injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 21-year-old man stopped at the scene and told officers he had seen part of what happened. He said he saw the driver run off toward Newman University and he pointed to a person still within sight. The officer contacted other officers who were able to catch the suspect.
The witness told police that he was headed east on Kellogg near Dugan when he saw the SUV dragging someone. He said the girl was still alive. The witness said he drove next to the SUV and began honking and yelling at the driver to try to get him to stop.
The officer who took Palmer into custody said Palmer made several unsolicited statements at different times.
According to the affidavit, Palmer stated, “Oh my God. God help me. Is she dead? People are saying she was hurt…”
The document shows that the comment continues, but the rest of it was redacted.
The probable cause affidavit goes on to detail the post-Miranda interview with Palmer. According to police, Palmer said he was homeless and that when he saw the SUV left running in the parking lot, he got in with the intent to steal it, and put his backpack in the passenger seat.
Police say that Palmer told them he did not see anyone else in the SUV and that he even checked the backseat. Palmer allegedly told police that if he had seen anyone inside the vehicle, he would not have taken it.
Police say Palmer told them that an unknown vehicle began chasing him. He allegedly described driving through the campus of Newman University and then getting back onto westbound Kellogg.
The affidavit says that Palmer told police that when he got out of the vehicle on Kellogg, as he was starting to run away, he saw a body trapped under the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Police say Palmer told them that “he assumed that while he was fleeing from the vehicle that was chasing him and while he was distracted with getting his backpack, coupled with the low visibility caused by the heavy snowfall, he must have hit someone that was trying to cross Kellogg.”
Palmer remains in jail on $500,000 bond.