After nine years without answers, mother of Kansas City homicide victim seeks justice

Glenn E. Rice
·3 min read

Tina Madge said the last time that she saw her son, Charles Bates, it was on his birthday — March 9, 2012.

A little more than two weeks later, Madge received a phone call alerting her that Bates had been fatally shot.

Someone shot Bates, 24, while he was driving someone to a house near 80th Street and Brooklyn Avenue in southeast Kansas City on March 26, 2012. Nine years later, his homicide remains unsolved.

On Thursday, Madge pleaded for someone to come forward and provide homicide detectives with information that would lead to an arrest. Bates was the father of a 15-month-old daughter when he was killed.

“It’s been a real roller coaster but I have faith and I know that justice is going to come,” Madge said at a news conference at Kansas City police headquarters.

“There’s been a lot of killings and people don’t want to say nothing and nobody wants to talk,” she said. “I’m not the only mother going through this. I need somebody to come forward and stop being scared.”

Bates worked as a cook at the Wendy’s restaurant at 63rd Street and Raytown Road. On the day of the killing, Madge said she spoke to her son over the phone. Bates was going to inquire if he was scheduled to work that day.

“He told me that he loved me,” said Madge, who at the time was living in California.

Hours later that day, arriving police officers found the car Bates was driving in the middle of the intersection.

The vehicle was in park with its engine running, the front right passenger door ajar, police said at the time.

Bates had apparently exited the driver’s side of the vehicle and was found face down inside of a residence in the 8000 block of Brooklyn Avenue. Paramedics rushed him to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Madge said she received a phone call alerting her that her son was dead.

“I didn’t want to hear that and I have been suffering through it ever since,” she said. “I want my justice.”

Several witnesses were identified and a person of interest in the shooting was taken into custody but was later released, said homicide detective Scott Emery.

“There was a reluctance for some of those witnesses to testify,” Emery said. “Just as Charles’ mother hasn’t given up, we’re going to keep plugging away and do what we can to try to make sure we get some justice for Charles and Tina.”

A $25,000 reward is available for anyone with information leading to an arrest.

Bates grew up in Kansas City and attended Van Horn High School. Bates’ grandfather had taught him plumbing.

Madge described Bates as a loving son who loved his family and especially his daughter who is now 10 years old.

“How has his death affected me? Terribly,” she said. “How has it affected his daughter, bad. She still wants to dig him up out of the ground, but you can’t do that.”

Madge said she remains hopeful that someone will come forward with new information about the killing.

”I’m going to keep fighting for justice, I am never going to give up,” she said.