Victim identified in Topeka’s first homicide of 2020

The victim in Topeka’s first homicide of 2020 has been identified.

Police identified the victim on Tuesday as 41-year-old Emerson Downing of Topeka.

On Monday afternoon, the Shawnee County Emergency Communications Center began receiving reports of a car crashing into a pedestrian near Curtis Cemetery in North Topeka.  Witnesses said the suspect fled the area in a black two-door vehicle.

Upon arrival, officers located Downing, who was suffering from life-threatening injuries.  Downing was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he died. 

A trooper with the Kansas Highway Patrol located the suspect’s vehicle near SW Emland Dr. and SW Gage Blvd. The suspect, Chad Cuevas, was arrested and transported to the Shawnee County Department of Corrections for 1st Degree Murder. 

Preliminary information indicates this incident stemmed from a disturbance that occurred in the area of NW Tyler St. and NW Waddell St. 

The investigation is ongoing and further details will be released at a later time.