February 3, 2011
Police have identified the man found buried in a shallow grave in Oaklawn Wednesday as 41 year-old Sean "Christopher" Putnam, a former law enforcement officer and sales account executive at KAKE TV.
Putnam was found buried in a shallow grave behind a home in Oaklawn, just south of Wichita, Wednesday evening. Police are waiting for autopsy results to determine the cause of death.
Drugs and money appear to have taken over Putnam's life. He had been missing for over a month until somebody reported an anonymous tip to a parole officer.
"We believe there was an argument," said Wichita Police Lieutenant Ken Landwehr. "Rumor has it there were arguments over drugs and money."
That lifestyle apparently led to Putnam's demise. Acting on a tip, police discovered his body Wednesday night behind a shed in the back yard of a home in Oaklawn.
"A Kansas parole officer... received a tip on Monday afternoon that an individual had been driving around in a stolen vehicle and that the owner of that vehicle had been murdered," Landwehr said.
The two suspects who are jailed are Putnam's former roommates when he lived in a home near Mount Vernon and Waco in South Wichita. Police responded there in late-December, but made no arrests and had no information that anything else had happened. Police had no indication that Putnam had been murdered and never received reports that he was even missing until Monday. They found his body buried in a shallow grave after hours of careful digging.
"One of the individuals that assisted in disposing of the body, his mother actually lived at that location," Landwehr explained. "He was not involved in the homicide, but he did assist in hiding the body."
Police began investigating the anonymous tip on Monday and were led to the burial in Oaklawn by Thursday. Meanwhile, the two roommates are identified by arrest records as Deborah Weiss and Michael R. Williams.
Putnam was employed as a sheriff's deputy in Cherokee County and also worked for the Galena and Bel Aire, KS, police departments. He also worked for a couple years as a sales account executive at KAKE-TV.