(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) Police have identified the man who died after being stabbed on a Kansas City-area highway Saturday.
23-year-old Cody M. Harter from St. Joseph, Mo., died after being stabbed along northbound Missouri 291 near where the highway meets I-470, Lee's Summit Police said Sunday.
Cody M. Harter
"Cody Michael Harter is my son," Harter's mother Kerrie said at a press conference Sunday. "He was so much joy to us."
At the conference, his family spoke about Harter's character and importance in their lives.
Harter was a loadmaster with the Missouri Air National Guard, Kerrie Harter said. She said He served a tour in Iraq and Quatar and helped with hurricane relief in Houston and Puerto Rico. Harter was one semester shy of getting his engineering technology degree.
"He was my best friend," Harter's sister Kylee said. Then Harter's girlfriend, Shelby Berkemeier followed and said, "He was the love of my life."
"He was not just a number," Kerrie Harter said. "He is a person. He is my love."
Authorities said the incident appears to be connected to road rage. Police are investigating it as a homicide.
Drivers reported seeing Harter stumbling into traffic to police Saturday night, according to a press release from the Lee's Summit Police Department. Harter had collapsed on the median by the time emergency crews arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Witnesses reported they had seen a vehicle stopped near Harter's truck and that he was arguing with someone. In the press release, Police said they believe Harter was stabbed once in the chest during the fight. Police said the person Harter argued with, fled north on I-470.
Harter was found dead by his pickup truck on the shoulder of the highway. His father Mike said his son was in the Kansas City area to pick-up a lawnmower.
On Sunday, the family asked for help solving Harter's death.
"If you saw anything even if you think it was nothing, please call," Kerrie Harter said. "Please call. They will put the pieces together."
Mike Harter repeated his wife's pleas.
"Any little detail would help the police in this investigation," he said. "Anything you might think is not important or just trivial. Anything you can add could be a piece of this puzzle."
Lee's Summit police are asking for anyone who may have been in the area at the time or who saw anything to call them at 816-969-7390.
For the full press conference, visit the Lee's Summit Police's Facebook page.
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