Tuesday, January 15, 2013
One woman missing, 15 injured in explosion
There was an explosion Monday at Lolo's, a restaurant located in downtown Kansas City. The explosion occurred shortly after 5 pm. Fifteen people were injured, three of them seriously and 1 person is confirmed missing. These are only preliminary numbers as no one knows how many people were actually in the restaurant at the time.
There were reports of people smelling gas in the air from some of the residents and a business next door to the restaurant. The fire department did respond to a 911 call reporting a possible gas leak from the area earlier that day around 3 pm.
Kansas City Daily Gazette
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
One confirmed death in explosion at Lolo's.
The body of a woman has been found in the charred out remains of Lolo's. The identity of the woman has not been released by the police but it is presumably the body of Carol Jean Wilson, local resident and waitress at Lolo's. She was reportedly working that night and has not been accounted for since.
Fifteen people were taken to the hospital for treatment after the explosion. Twelve were released with minor injuries but three are still in the hospital with serious injuries, two are life-threatening. The police and fire departments are searching through the rubble for answers to how and why this occurred.
Although the investigation into the explosion is ongoing, eyewitness accounts seem to confirm that is was probably due to a gas leak. No one knows yet what may have triggered the actual explosion or for how long the gas had been leaking. Residents of the area have reported smelling gas for several days and many wonder if the construction project in the area may have been the cause of the gas leak.
Kansas City Daily Gazette
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Police confirm identity of dead woman.
The police confirmed the identity of the body found in the rubble of the restaurant Lolo's as Carol Jean Wilson. Carol Jean Wilson was born and raised in Kansas City. She had just turned 28. She graduated from Oak Park High School in 2002 where she played volleyball and was involved in a number of after school clubs. Carol Jean's English teacher and key club advisor, Mrs. Jo Lynn Thompson, remembered her as a bright girl who was kind to everyone she met. A former classmate, Mary Anne Wight, commented that she remembered she always had a smile on her face.
Her former volleyball coach, Thelma Lou Davis said, "Carol Jean always displayed great leadership and sportsmanship on the court. She was a great girl and a great volleyball player. She will be missed."
Carol Jean's family has yet to set a date for the funeral.
Kansas City Daily Gazette
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Carol Jean Wilson
Our loving daughter, sister, niece, aunt and best friend, Carol Jean Wilson, left this world on Monday, January 14 to join our Lord and Savior in heaven. She was born December 22, 1984 in Kansas City, Missouri. She was home schooled by her mother until high school when she attended Oak Park High School which she graduated from in 2002. She loved to play volleyball and did so whenever she could.
After high school, she attended Kansas City Kansas Community College where she played volleyball for two years before she graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She worked as a preschool teacher in the mornings for the last 8 years where she helped many children get a great start on their school career. She loved working with the children. She also worked evenings as a waitress at Lolo's where she met all kinds of people. She loved working here and this is where she met the love of her life. Robert made her world go round.
She will be greatly missed. She was a joy and a light to everyone around her but especially to her family. She is survived by her parents, George and Karen Wilson, her big brother Frank (Sally) Wilson and her three younger sisters, Georgia, Kailey, and Myra. She is also survived by her neice Heidi Wilson and her nephew, Frank Wilson, Jr. as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins. She is also survived by her fiancé, Robert Macum who she was planning on wedding this spring. She is preceded in death by both set of grandparents.
A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, January 26, 2013 at Calvary Lutheran Church, 7500 Oak Street, Kansas City from 6-8 pm. All who knew her are invited to attend.
"This should have been her wedding we were attending and not her funeral," said a teary Heather, Carol Jean's best friend and maid of honor.
"I know, I know but the worse part about it is this isn't even a funeral because they don't have the body yet. That part is still to come," said Julie, her younger sister. "I wish Mom and Dad could have come."
"Me too. They'd be much better at this whole thing than I am. I wish they weren't in the Bahamas. I don't know what to say to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson and every time I try I break down and cry, not to mention Robert," said Heather.
Heather and Julie looked around the room. There was a continual low murmuring encompassing the room, from people greeting each other in quiet tones. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were standing in the front of the room, receiving each visitor one by one. Mrs. Wilson was doing most of the talking, her usually staccato voice now in a more subdued lull, occasionally punctuated with a suppressed sob.
Robert stood beside the Wilsons, with an ashen look on his face. He only occasionally made eye contact with those who approached him, jumping in a way which suggested he was surprised to find himself here surrounded by these people. His pale grey eyes looked haunted and sunken, like he hadn't slept for days.
“Robert shouldn't be here,” Heather told her sister. “He doesn't look well. He has had such a shock.”
“Maybe you should talk to him, Heather,” Julie said.
“But what can I say to someone who just lost the love of their life?”
“Just be there,” Julie suggested. “That's all you can do.”
Heather hesitated another moment, then approached the receiving line. As she made her way through, she gave hugs and soft words of condolence, tears brimming in her eyes.
When she approached Robert she gave him a hesitant hug.
“What can I do, Robert?” she asked him, her heart sinking as she felt his body stiffen at her embrace. She kept her hands on his arms following the hug, wanting to somehow infuse some strength into him, but then she couldn't contain her emotions any longer. Her eyes seemed to erupt in tears and a sob threatened to burst from her throat.
Robert seemed to wake from his trance and offered Heather the same embrace. This time he held her tight, and she let all her grief pour from her, wetting his shoulder in the process.
“This just can't be real,” Heather cried. “After she finally found you....Her life was only just about to begin!” Heather regretted the words the moment they left her lips. Robert's eyes clouded over again, and he gave a solemn nod.
“She loved you so much, Robert. I hope you know that.”
“Yes, I know. I just wish....” Robert's voice choked up, but he fought through it. “I just wish we had more time together.”
Heather nodded in agreement and was about to say something, but abruptly stopped when she saw the hazy, tear-filled expression in Robert's face suddenly turn stone-cold as he focused on something over her shoulder. She quickly turned to see what was creating such a violent reaction in Robert and saw a tall man in a crisp blue suit entering the room.
“I can't believe he is showing his face here,” Robert snarled.
The man caught sight of Robert, and with a subtle smirk, tipped his fingers to his brow in a haughty salute. In an instant, Heather could almost feel the heat which flushed Robert's face.
“Who is that man?” she asked.
“That is Paul, although I wouldn't refer to him as any kind of man. He's a snake and a coward, the worst kind of man." Robert continued to watch the stranger across the room, his eyes hard as steel, unrelenting. "He's Carol Jean's ex- . . .”
“That’s Paul?” Heather interrupted. Heather had heard horror stories about Paul during the late night chats she and Carol Jean had shared. She and Carol Jean had met during their college days before Heather had changed her major from Early Ed to Social Work. Paul was from before Heather’s time, but he’d had a huge impact on Carol Jean’s life and Heather had heard all about what a jerk he was, but had fortunately never met him or even laid eyes on him—up until now that is. In an effort to rid her life from his influence, Carol Jean had even destroyed any pictures from when they were together. From the way she had described some of the things he had put her through, Heather thought he would be weaselly looking, but Paul was far from it. In fact, he was one of the most handsome men she could remember seeing in person.
Robert nearly growled. “He made her life so miserable!” She could feel Robert tensing and starting to take a step toward Paul.
“Take a break before you doing something you regret” Heather urged, pushing Robert through a nearby door and into the hallway. Surprisingly, Robert complied. “Go get a drink of water, breathe for a few minutes, take a walk around the hall,” she counseled him. Robert nodded and turned with his shoulders slumped. Heather took a second to breathe as well, opened the door to return to the receiving line and practically ran into Paul. He flashed a toothy, fake grin and Heather took a step back. She looked up into his face and was struck by his hypnotizing blue eyes.
“You must be Heather.” Paul had an undeniably powerful and creepy magnetism and as he chatted Heather up, she had a difficult time breaking away. Finally, ushers began motioning people from the reception area into the service and Heather, with her skin still crawling from her encounter, was able to make her escape back to Julie.
Taking their seats, Julie whispered, “Who was that?” into Heather’s ear and Heather was able to get a few words of explanation in before the family and Robert mournfully came down the aisle to take their seats in the front rows. Heather hated funerals in general and the fact that this one was so tragic, literally made her heart hurt. She hated that Paul had cast such a pall on this last chance to say goodbye to her best friend. Just his presence was bad enough, but she especially didn’t like that Paul had greeted her and known her by name. She finally had to make a decision to focus on celebrating her friend’s life and worry about sinister ex-boyfriends later.
Kansas City Daily Gazette
Thursday, January 27, 2013
Police Suspect Foul Play in Lolo’s Explosion
Authorities have confirmed that the Tuesday, January 15th explosion at Lolo’s that killed Carol Jean Wilson, a waitress at the establishment, was caused by gas. The Kansas City Forensics Team (KSFT), believe that the gas main leading into Lolo’s was tampered with. They have concluded that the most likely time was between noon and 2:00 p.m. on the day of the explosion. The gas main is located in the alleyway behind the restaurant at the northwest corner of Madison and 4th Ave. SW. Anyone who noticed anything suspicious or has more information is urged to contact KSFT directly. Police are searching nearby businesses for any footage of that day.
Heather tossed and turned that night with conflicting images of the ugly burned building and Paul’s beautiful face haunting her dreams. When she finally forced herself out of bed and down the stairs, she regretted it immediately. The latest headline brought her no comfort and offered her no answers.
“Carol Jean deserved better than this” Heather thought as she threw the paper in the trash.
Determined to do something of value (today), Heather headed off to take a shower and wash her mind clear. As she walked past the mirror in the living room. She gasped, and dropped to the floor. There, in her living room was………
…Paul. He was reclining on the sofa, watching her.
“What are you doing here?” Heather asked. Her voice sounded strangled. Her heart was pounding. She couldn’t breathe.
“I just want to talk,” Paul said smoothly.
“How did you get in?” Heather asked.
“The back door.”
Hadn’t she checked last night if the sliding glass door was locked before she went to bed last night? Maybe not.
“Get out!” Heather said, “Or I will call the police!”
“Please,” Paul said, for the first time he seemed a little flustered, “I really need to talk. About Carol Jean.”
Heather stood opposite him, her arms crossed in front of her. “What?” she said.
“I think she was murdered,” he said.
“A lot of people do,” Heather said.
“I think I know who did it,” Paul said.
“Then tell the police. Why are you telling me?” There was a roaring in Heather’s ears. She was trying to keep her voice from quaking and her racing pulse to quiet.
“You were her best friend. I just want to see if you know anything about that day. I don’t have a lot of evidence, I want to find out more before I go to the police.”
“Go on,” Heather said.
“Carol Jean and I were…dating…” he said.
“No you weren’t!” Heather protested. “She hated you.”
“She didn’t,” he said simply. “Maybe she wanted to, but she didn’t.”
“We were in love,” his voice caught, “She was…going to have a baby. Our baby.”
“What?!?” None of this made any sense to Heather. He had to be lying.
“It’s true,” Paul said, his eyes welling with tears. He wiped them away fiercely. “When we dated, before, I always loved her but I didn’t treat her like I should have. I found her again, at the restaurant. I went every day to see her until she finally forgave me. She was engaged to Robert but was going to break it off.”
Heather didn’t want to believe him but it lodged a doubt in her mind. For months she had had a nagging suspicion that something was going on with Carol Jean. She’d seem preoccupied and nervous. There had been the times when Robert mentioned that Carol Jean had spent time with Heather but it hadn’t really happened. There had been times when Carol Jean had been hard to get a hold of and she didn’t explain her absence.
“I think she finally told Robert,” Paul said. “I think he killed her.”
Heather sat on the chair opposite Paul. It was too much to think about.
Kansas City Daily Gazette
Thursday, February 3, 2013
Arrest Made in Explosion at Lolo’s
Robert Macum, fiancé of Carol Jean Wilson, was arrested Wednesday in connection to the explosion two weeks ago at Lolo’s restaurant in Kansas City. Footage at nearby Kansas City Alpha Graphics showed him tampering with the gas line on the afternoon of the explosion. Police are still investigating motives. Speaking for the family, Frank Wilson, Carol Jean’s brother said, “We are shocked and hope there is another explanation. They were so much in love.”