2 South American students and researchers identified as Kansas City homicide victims

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Two South American students and researchers have been identified as homicide victims at the site of a Kansas City fire early.Camila Behrensen, 24, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Pablo Guzman Palma, 25, from Santiago, Chile, died in an apartment near 41st and Oak streets in Kansas City.Both Behrensen and Guzman-Palma were pre-doctoral graduate students at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City.After Kansas City firefighters were called to the apartment complex around 5 a.m. on Saturday, Kansas City police were called to the apartment to investigate a double homicide.Raul Gonzales was awakened Saturday morning by alarm sounds and then firefighters told him there was a fire in his building right across the hall from him.“It’s pretty crazy stuff, I’ve definitely never been so close to something like this occurring, and you know it’s just a sad situation all around,” he said.Gonzales said he knew his neighbors as Spanish speakers who liked to entertain friends at their apartment.“I just saw them hanging out, nothing really much beside that. They’d sit on their deck and talk on the phone. I would get their mail in my mailbox on occasion, but besides that, they were just normal,” he said.Leaders at the Stowers Institute released a statement Monday.”We are devastated by the tragic deaths of predoctoral researchers. These researchers were members of our 2020 class and vibrant members of our Stowers Institute community. Our deepest sympathies are with their families at this difficult time,” the statement said.The statement also included biographical information on both students.Behrensen has a bachelor of science degree from the University Argentina de la Empressa and spent two years studying metabolic changes in fruit flies.That research allowed her to co-author a paper published in Scientific Reports.Behrensen’s hope was to continue her studies and focus her research on metabolism and the role it plays in development. She dreamed one day of earning her postdoctoral degree and leading a research team by forming her own lab. Her classmates and faculty at the Institute describe her as a brilliant young woman who cared deeply for her work and her classmates. She was also an avid runner.Guzman Palma earned his bachelor of science degree and post-bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. His first research project focused on spinal cord regeneration. His hope was to continue his studies focusing on how cells interpret and integrate various types of cues and signals during development and possibly start his own lab after completing his Ph.D. and postdoctoral work.Guzman Palma’s classmates and faculty at the institute describe him as a gentle soul with a true passion for science and biology. They said he enjoyed reading, watching movies and had a love for live music.So far, Kansas City police detectives have not released a cause of death for either Behrensen or Guzman Palma. No fire cause has been released either. No arrest has been made in this case.

Two South American students and researchers have been identified as homicide victims at the site of a Kansas City fire early.

Camila Behrensen, 24, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Pablo Guzman Palma, 25, from Santiago, Chile, died in an apartment near 41st and Oak streets in Kansas City.

Both Behrensen and Guzman-Palma were pre-doctoral graduate students at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City.

After Kansas City firefighters were called to the apartment complex around 5 a.m. on Saturday, Kansas City police were called to the apartment to investigate a double homicide.

Raul Gonzales was awakened Saturday morning by alarm sounds and then firefighters told him there was a fire in his building right across the hall from him.

“It’s pretty crazy stuff, I’ve definitely never been so close to something like this occurring, and you know it’s just a sad situation all around,” he said.

Gonzales said he knew his neighbors as Spanish speakers who liked to entertain friends at their apartment.

“I just saw them hanging out, nothing really much beside that. They’d sit on their deck and talk on the phone. I would get their mail in my mailbox on occasion, but besides that, they were just normal,” he said.

Leaders at the Stowers Institute released a statement Monday.

“We are devastated by the tragic deaths of predoctoral researchers. These researchers were members of our 2020 class and vibrant members of our Stowers Institute community. Our deepest sympathies are with their families at this difficult time,” the statement said.

The statement also included biographical information on both students.

Behrensen has a bachelor of science degree from the University Argentina de la Empressa and spent two years studying metabolic changes in fruit flies.

That research allowed her to co-author a paper published in Scientific Reports.

Behrensen’s hope was to continue her studies and focus her research on metabolism and the role it plays in development. She dreamed one day of earning her postdoctoral degree and leading a research team by forming her own lab. Her classmates and faculty at the Institute describe her as a brilliant young woman who cared deeply for her work and her classmates. She was also an avid runner.

Guzman Palma earned his bachelor of science degree and post-bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. His first research project focused on spinal cord regeneration. His hope was to continue his studies focusing on how cells interpret and integrate various types of cues and signals during development and possibly start his own lab after completing his Ph.D. and postdoctoral work.

Guzman Palma’s classmates and faculty at the institute describe him as a gentle soul with a true passion for science and biology. They said he enjoyed reading, watching movies and had a love for live music.

So far, Kansas City police detectives have not released a cause of death for either Behrensen or Guzman Palma. No fire cause has been released either. No arrest has been made in this case.



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