Very unfortunate. Going to have to see what comes out of this.....
BY STAN FINGER
The Wichita Eagle - February 28, 2006

Sedgwick County Fire Capt. Michael Vann bled to death Thursday night of stab wounds inside the Iasis Christian Center, but Wichita police said Monday that they're still uncertain of the circumstances leading up to his death.

Vann, 43, was found in a grassy area outside the church where his brother is the pastor, the night before the funeral home he co-owned was scheduled to hold its grand opening. Vann's fiancee said that he routinely went to the church each evening.

"At this time, it has not been ruled a homicide," Lt. Ken Landwehr, head of the homicide unit, said Monday, adding that suicide is "still a possibility."

Landwehr said a lot of forensic investigation needs to be done inside the church "to get to the truth." While preliminary autopsy results have been completed, he said, the coroner has not issued a cause of death.

More detailed test results are pending, he said.

"There's a lot of questions that need to be answered," Landwehr said.

People who have information about that evening are asked to call 911 or the homicide section at 268-4181.

Kimberly Brown of Seattle, Vann's fiancee, said he went to the church daily but usually left around 9 p.m.

Brown was surprised when Vann didn't call her Thursday night. They had talked almost daily, she said, until the night he died.

The couple began a long-distance romance after he was divorced, Brown said. They met when Vann handled funeral arrangements for Brown's cousin. Brown is originally from Wichita but moved away 20 years ago.

Vann was the first black lieutenant and captain in the history of the Sedgwick County Fire Department. He was being considered for promotion to division chief at the time of his death.

The opening of Vann-Eldridge Funeral Services at 2703 E. Central comes 13 months after a fire destroyed Vann Funeral Services.

That fire, on Jan. 14, 2005, caused an estimated $210,000 in damage. It has been ruled an arson and remains under investigation.