The circumstances of the disturbing incident remained a mystery for five months, until the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office announced murder charges on January 18, 2018 for Kansas City brothers Antonio and Miguel Love. In addition to first-degree murder charges, the brothers also face charges for abandoning a corpse and armed criminal action.
The announcement was accompanied by charging documents that shed light on the months-old crime. After police were dispatched to the intersection of Cliff Dr. and Chestnut on reports of a dead body, they discovered the deceased Michael High-Frump with stab wounds and gunshot wounds, as well as blunt force trauma. There was also evidence at the scene which pointed to the fact High-Frump was transported from another location.
By August 23, a detective with the Independence Police Department reached out to the KCPD Homicide Unit to pass along an anonymous tip; that an individual had come forward with information regarding a homicide that had occurred on August 16 near the intersection of Blue Ridge Blvd. and Lexington Ave. in Independence. The tipster reportedly told authorities that a white male had been bound, beaten and stabbed in the basement of a home before being placed in the trunk of a blue car and transported away.
That same day, authorities pulled an individual out of the Jackson County jail for an interview with homicide detectives. The individual confirmed that the victim, who he identified as “Anthony,” had been assaulted at his home at 8717 Lexington Avenue. The individual further stated that the assault had been perpetrated by “Salve” and “Salve’s little brother Tony.” He described how the two brothers had caught the victim at his residence and beaten him on the main floor, before moving “Anthony” to the basement to continue the assault. Some time later, he observed the brother’s bringing “Anthony” back upstairs, wrapped in a blanket.
Detectives obtained a search warrant on August 23 to search the home at 8717 Lexington. There, they found substantial blood evidence. On September 4, detectives were informed by the victim’s mother that a friend of the family had informed her that High-Frump had been killed over drugs. Reportedly, Antonio Love had given High-Frump money for “an ounce of dope,” but the victim never came through with the drugs.
On September 6, another witness corroborated the previous stories, and was able to identify a photo of Miguel Love as the aforementioned “Salve.” The new witness also successfully identified Antonio Love. On September 24, yet another witness emerged who claimed to have seen the Love brothers threatening High-Frump on the day of the homicide. This witness, who allegedly left the residence before things turned outwardly violent, relayed her belief that High-Frump was murdered as retaliation for a February 2016 beating Antonio Love received from High-Frump and another Mexican man.
“They beat him to within an inch of his life,” said the witness, according to the charging documents.
On September 25, Antonio Love was arrested regarding this incident. Love admitted having been to the home on Lexington Avenue in the past, while also acknowledging that he’d previously been put in critical condition after the sale of a bicycle went sour.
On October 31, police conducted a follow-up interview with the victim’s mother. At that time, she said she’d heard the homicide was committed by Miguel and Tony. She’d heard that the trouble began when Tony gave High-Frump $500 for drugs, which the victim accepted but declined to deliver the product. Tony allegedly threatened High-Frump and his family, leading Tony to be beaten and subsequently hospitalized.
Prosecutors have requested a bond of $250,000 cash for each defendant.