Friends mourn death of former KU soccer player killed in Lawrence

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 10:36 PM CDT|Updated: May. 20, 2022 at 11:08 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Friends of a former University of Kansas soccer player who was killed in Lawrence are struggling to process that she is gone.

Friends of Regan Marek-Gibbs say she was kind, trusting and forgiving. Her husband, Chad Joseph Marek, is charged with first-degree murder for her death.

Around 7:30 p.m. Monday, Lawrence police were called to the couple’s apartment near Graystone Drive and 6th Street. They say they discovered Marek-Gibbs had been killed.

According to the Lawrence Journal World, Lawrence Police Chief Rich Lockhart said Chad Marek called 911 and told the dispatcher that he killed his wife and “God told him to do it.”

Chad Marek was arrested at the crime scene. Investigators suspect domestic violence was a contributing factor in Marek-Gibbs’ death.

“Regan was just, she was so kind, so sweet,” friend David Lester Jr. said. “One thing she always had was this gift and this grace for servanthood.”

Lester says he and Marek-Gibbs became friends while in college. They spread the gospel together on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence.

“She was a devout Christian,” Lester said. “Loved the Lord and she always had a hunger about telling people about Jesus.”

Hugh Wentz says he has been a college evangelist for about 40 years. He met Marek-Gibbs at the student union. He says he and his wife mentored her while she was in college and later advised her against marrying Chad Marek.

“It’s just too quick,” Wentz said. “We don’t know Chad that well. You don’t know Chad that well.”

Then friends noticed a shift. They struggled to reach Marek-Gibbs and rarely saw her.

“She had no phone. She had no email address anymore,” Wentz said. “I couldn’t get a hold of him.”

Wentz says videos posted to Chad Marek’s Facebook page were part of the reason he drove to the couple’s apartment about four weeks ago. In one of the most recent Facebook videos Marek said, “So I have a word from the Lord for the United States military.” He went on to say, “and I the Lord will have mercy and spare this land of bloodshed but listen closely. For if you do not heed my voice, many shall perish returned to me. I the Lord have spoken.”

“I went over to try to basically save her life. I had this feeling it was not good,” Wentz said. “That he was one of these guys that take control and hold on.”

Wentz said he heard loud music He knocked on their door with no answer. The shades were drawn. He stuck a business card in their door that said, “call me please” but no one did.

Then he learned about Monday’s homicide investigation into Marek-Gibbs’s death. “My wife and I just cried and cried,” Wentz said. “She’s in a better place. She had her destiny cut short. It shouldn’t have happened.

Chad Marek’s bond is set at $1 million cash or surety.

“We’re praying for peace and healing to take place in our hearts,” Lester said.

Help is available for anyone experiencing domestic violence. The confidential 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached by calling 1-800-799-SAFE.