CLAY COUNTY — Noah T. Cole, 23, of Kansas City faces charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action, burglary and arson in Clay County in connection with a crime spree that encompassed multiple counties and included a fire in London Towers apartments in Gladstone over Thanksgiving weekend.

Gladstone firefighters were dispatched to the apartments around 7:17 p.m. Nov. 27, at 2505 NE Shady Lane Drive, to a neighbor reporting smoke filling the apartment from elsewhere. According to the probable cause statement, first responders determined the smoke was coming from another apartment at 2503 NE 63rd Place.

“Firefighters were able to determine the source of the smoke and made entry into an apartment. Inside the apartment, a deceased male was located with multiple stab wounds to the body and also appeared to have been lit on fire,” states a release from the Clay County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents, the male victim, identified as Matthew Stauch, 33, was found by firefighters lying face down in a back bedroom. Stauch suffered multiple wounds including puncture wounds to his neck and upper back. An autopsy determined the cause of death was about 40 stab wounds.

During execution of a search warrant of Stauch's apartment, investigators discovered his 2013 Toyota Camry, a guitar signed by the cast of "Seinfeld" and a cellphone were missing.

According to court records, during the investigation, detectives learned of a shooting involving a woman in a Raytown apartment around noon Nov. 27. The victim allegedly identified Cole as the person who shot her. A witness allegedly photographed the shooters fleeing the scene in the car registered to Stauch.

In the probable cause statement, a Gladstone detective also referenced another fatal shooting in Kansas City where 9 mm shell casings were located near Interstate 435 and Independence Avenue. Kansas City police located a man dead in a vacant lot at the location Monday, Nov. 29.

Law enforcement also allegedly connected Stauch’s stolen car, Cole and another man to a robbery Nov. 27 of an Up in Smoke shop in Jackson County. A shop employee told Kansas City police the two suspects jumped over the counter and stole a shotgun.

KCPD located Stauch’s vehicle later off Poplar Avenue in Kansas City and conducted surveillance. Officers recovered the stolen shotgun Nov. 28 after a pursuit.

“The shotgun recovered in the incident matched the description provided by the employee at Up In Smoke. The shotgun was also found with a pair of blue Under Armour tennis shoes after a white male and black male left the white Toyota sedan,” reads the probable cause statement. “The blue tennis shoes matched the shoes that Noah Cole was wearing when he stole the shotgun from Up In Smoke. Officers also located paperwork left behind in the garage with Stauch's name on it. Upon search of the vehicle after it was recovered, detectives located zip ties, white/silver duct tape and a 9 mm shell casing.”

Law enforcement officials later interviewed the man accused of being with Cole during the shop robbery.

According to court documents, he allegedly told detectives he went with Cole to Stauch’s apartment and helped load bins of paperwork and property into Stauch’s car. While there, the man told investigators he saw a pool of blood on the floor.

Cole was taken into custody Tuesday, Nov. 30, at his residence in Kansas City.

“A search of Noah's person revealed a 9 mm shell casing in his pocket. Upon holding the residence for a search warrant, detectives also observed shell casings in the front yard,” reads the statement of probable cause. “A lab comparison of the 9 mm shell casings recovered from the Raytown shooting, the Kansas City homicide and the 2013 Toyota Camry was conducted, and the results determined the casings were fired from the same firearm.” 

During execution of a search warrant at Cole’s residence, investigators located the signed “Seinfeld” guitar, electronics, tax documents, other paperwork and medications belonging to Stauch along with bloody clothing and knives.

“During an interview with Noah Cole, he admitted to going to Stauch’s apartment on one occasion, possibly on 11-­27­-2021, to help get property,” states court documents. Cole allegedly denied any involvement in the homicides.

Bond in the Clay County case is set at $1 million. Cole remains in Clay County Detention Center in Liberty in lieu of bond. A court date is set in Clay County for Thursday, Dec. 9.

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at or 903-6001.

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