Archive for Thursday, May 17, 2007

Former Lawrence resident found shot in K.C.

May 17, 2007


A man who grew up in Lawrence was found shot to death on Wednesday at an athletic field in Kansas City, Mo.

A Kansas City police spokesman said a construction worker discovered the body of 37-year-old Derek A. Orchard about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday at Clark Ketterman Athletic Field near 107th Street and Skiles Avenue.

"It appears to be drug-related," said Darin Snapp, a police spokesman. "Some people we've talked to that know the victim say he may have some drug problems and may have hooked up with the wrong crowd."

Orchard's car, a Honda Accord, had been recovered shortly after midnight Wednesday at 11th Street and Paseo Boulevard, but Snapp would not go into detail about how it was recovered. Asked whether police had a suspect, Snapp said, "We're following some great leads."

Orchard, who was married with children and lived in Overland Park, was reported missing early Wednesday by Overland Park Police.

He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1988, went to Grinnell College, and worked in marketing in recent years in the Kansas City area.

"He was an excellent student - a really top-notch kid," said Marian Wilbur, who had Orchard as a student in her ninth-grade advanced English class at Lawrence High School.


Centrist 10 years, 11 months ago

37 years old, married with kids and living in OP, KS.

It's so sad that this guy couldn't grow up and get off drugs.

bearded_gnome 10 years, 11 months ago

sad. hope his family has some good support right now.

pathfinder 10 years, 11 months ago

This is very sad news for everyone that knew him and his family. What a wonderful person! Everyone, please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. I will keep ahold of the memories that we (as a group) had together! God bless!

Kelly Boyle-Wolfe 10 years, 11 months ago

Centrist: A bit quick to judge, aren't you? Anyone that knew Derek in school wouldn't be surprised that he was married with children living in Overland Park. The big surprise is THE SUGGESTION that drugs COULD have been involved. My heart goes out to his family in their time of such grief and sorrow.

pathfinder 10 years, 11 months ago

Centrist: Who are you anyway! Any compassion for the family?

kujayhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

Good kid, good family. This is a shock.

teach 10 years, 11 months ago

Derek was an amazing person, and all of us who knew him so well in high school and college remember a warm, loving, generous and VERY FUNNY guy. My prayers to out to his family, especially his wife and beautiful children.

teach 10 years, 11 months ago

As an update, they have arrested two men in connection with Derek's murder. They arrested them Tuesday night before they even found his body. They had his car and credit cards, and have charged them both with 1st degree robbery and 2nd degree murder. A 39 and 17 year old. Hopefully we will find out that drugs were not involved in this incident, but even if they were, it does not change who Derek was to all of us. God bless.

teach 10 years, 11 months ago

Kelly Boyle Wolfe-

Good for you. Thanks for sticking up for Derek. You always were a good egg...

Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years, 11 months ago

This is a tragedy. Peace be upon his soul. Condolences to his family and especially his children.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 11 months ago

Oh how awful. I'm so sorry for all of them.

Jessica Hull 10 years, 11 months ago

Things like this just should not happen. Especially to a young father/husband with children. It seems so unfair. My thoughts are with the family.

joed 10 years, 11 months ago

This is a tragedy, how sad. This was a very poor (and selfish) choice to put himself in that position, and it resulted in a worst-case scenario. His children and wife deserve better.

outoftown 10 years, 11 months ago

Wow.....blame the victim based on hearsay in a local paper--such knee-jerk judgment is despicable. Shame on you. The main source for any information seems to be the perpetrators themselves, specious accountants at best, relayed by an overzealous police spokesperson. The perp's version of the story makes little sense. Derek is unfortunately not here to tell us what happened. When you post comments on about such a horrific story, please consider that family members will be reading your thoughts from a far in this information age.

Thank you to all the rest of you. Derek was my cousin and friend. I wish I could be there to help my Aunt and Uncle, Megan, Megan's parents, and the three children. They love Lawrence. As a community, please look out for my cousin's extended family, and pray you are never confronted with what has happened to the Orchards.

Kelly Boyle-Wolfe 10 years, 11 months ago

I would hope that those of you that are passing judgement do not believe EVERYTHING that you read. It doesn't take many years on the planet or worldly experience to know better. Passing judgement will get you absolutely nowhere. If you have ever lost a loved one and had the media mix up the facts, you would get it. Unfortunately, all of you that are passing judgement, without knowing the individual will be stuck on that one statement " It appears....", which sounded like a preliminary opinion, not based upon factual evidence. Regardless of WHAT the scenario was, let's not take away the FACT that Derek is no longer with us, and how about a little compassion for the family that is left behind? The hurt and anger that follows when a loved one has been murdered should not be overshadowed by people passing judgment based upon a piece of journalism.

joed 10 years, 11 months ago

I understand, and repeat that it is a tragedy. But it is not hearsay. Read the police report, do you think the suspects would admit to murder but lie about how they came into contact with the victim? The victim was in the worst part of kansas city looking to buy drugs. In that scenario, there is probably a 50% chance that something really bad is going to happen. In making that decision to put himself in that position, it was a selfish, irresponsible act. I have deep sympathy for his wife and children, and it is absolutely legitimate to feel some anger at the victim, when thinking of those he left behind.

Kelly Boyle-Wolfe 10 years, 11 months ago

I assume from your last post that you physically held the police report in your hand and read it? BOTTOM LINE, there is NO excuse or justification for MURDERING SOMEONE. The males that were arrested did not have a choice BUT to admit to it. Let's see, if we are to believe what was printed: they were driving Derek's car, they had Derek's credit cards, and a gun. Sounds like it adds up to me. What you have written sounds kind of like shallow thinking to me-along the lines of well, she wouldn't have gotten raped if she hadn't been wearing that mini-skirt. Or....he deserved to be jumped and beat up on Mass. St., shouldn't have been downtown at night. I could go on and on..... For a human being to DECIDE for another that their personal choices should ultimately be the reason for their life to end is COMPLETE AND UTTER NONSENSE. Nevermind the fact that robbing someone of their personal possessions and murdering them sounds like the SELFISH act here. Come on!

joed 10 years, 11 months ago

Kelli, WHAT are you talking about? Yes the police report is on-line. Jackson County Prosecutor .com. Noone is saying the victim deserved it, or that murder is right, of course noone should take another's life, and of course "there is no justification for murdering someone" (I can't believe responding to your post necessitates having to say that). That is not the point at all. Your analogy to someone deserving rape because of wearing a short skirt is nonsense, and not at all analagous to TRYING TO PURCHASE DRUGS in the worst part of Kansas City.

My point is that, knowing the dangers of BUYING DRUGS IN THE WORST PART OF KANSAS CITY, and doing it anyway, could be construed as a selfish act, and could evoke legitimate anger, due to the circumstances he leaves his family in.

kansasnative 10 years, 11 months ago

I went to school with Derek and must say my jaw dropped. I am so saddened by this and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family - He will always be remembered by me as a very sweet, funny and one of those guys that always had a great smile. I, too, am in disbelief at the mention of drugs! I haven't seen him in years and a lot can happen BUT if you knew him, very hard to believe. Absolutely shocking!

concernedparent 10 years, 11 months ago

You know, its not always easy to get off drugs like some have mentioned. Drugs are an addiction. People get to a point where they will do anything and give up anything to get their fix. I feel terrible for the family of Derek and am sure he was a great guy who will be missed by everyone that knew him. Its not always as easy as just giving them up.

outoftown 10 years, 11 months ago

Believing police report based on comments from two individuals who were captured driving another man's car, with his wallet, and carrying two handguns is insane. We have no idea where Derek's attackers met up with him.....if it's carjacking (kidnapping) that would be a pretty good reason to lie about participation. What happened is not the point. My point is, to say things like "play with drugs, play with fire" is nothing more than than an insulting way to place responsibility for Derek's death on himself, a man you know very little about.

"She was asking for it" is in the same league-- these are troubling judgements to hear from a literate newspaper reader in Lawrence, KS, or anywhere else.

LongRider 10 years, 11 months ago

Centrist, offtotheright, joed, etc. News flash semen sucking fecal maggot dope fiend murders, lie. Often for no reason, maybe because they are not the most intelligent moral people around or maybe because a spontaneous drug related killing carries a lighter sentence than a premeditated car jacking resulting in murder does. Is it possible for dope fiends to car jack an innocent citizen, have him drive to a drug neighborhood at gun point, than rob and kill min to make it look like a drug related killing? If it is possible for a murder victim to be an innocent victim. Maybe we could give them the benefit of a doubt and have some more consideration for their family and loved ones than you seem to have for a pair low life murderous scum bags who at best are a waste of skin.

formerjay 10 years, 11 months ago

I found the Lawrence Journal online in hopes of finding better stories about Derek than the KC Star has written. I am saddened by the e-mails that people think Derek was on drugs. I had to write to clarify. I agree, when I hear about murders in the news and hear that drugs are involved, I don't give it much attention because it is harder to feel sorry for someone who has done drugs. Derek, however, was not this sterotype. I know him ....not from years ago but from how he was recently. If you ever met him, you would indeed be shocked by the aquisition that drugs were involved. He was a conservative, intelligent, responsible, loyal friend and father.
No one knows how he ended up with those horrible people who stole his life. Unfortunately, the only information about how he met his killers is coming from them. He was somehow in the wrong place at the wrong time. Please remember Derek the way he really was, not the way the media has recently protrayed him. Derek, you are in my prayers.

Kelly Boyle-Wolfe 10 years, 11 months ago

Okay, Joed. I went to the police report, and read it over and over. No where in the report was there mention of a drug transaction. Maybe they forgot to mention it? There is also no mention of them having drugs in their possession. The whole thing sounds like a bunch of bs to me. "He wanted to party." There was no mention of stopping off to buy drugs before they drove to the athletic field. Assuming that these guys are supposed to be dealers (that is what is insinuated), wouldn't they have the drugs on them? Or, if that was the intention of their "drive" with Derek, wouldn't they have stopped at a drug house for the purchase? No mention of drugs or paraphenalia in Derek's car, on his person, or on the murderers. Just doesn't seem like that is the REAL story.

KUJJJhawk 10 years, 11 months ago

I keep seeing that everyone is saying Derek was in the "hood" and questioning his motives for being there. In reality we don't know if he was there at all. We only know at this point that he was at home in the morning and found dead in the park at 106th and Skiles. The thugs were in the hood with Derek's car, not Derek.

Also, I can't figure out why there aren't 4 people being charged with murder. One article says "according to a witness" and goes on to say what happened. In my opinion, the "witness" should be a "defendant"!

Knowing Derek and his family, I can not see Derek inviting this. This is a guy who was consistantly involved in his kid's lives, active in his community, and an overall great guy. It just doesn't make sense what happened to him. My prayers are with Derek's wonderful family.

hadenough 10 years, 11 months ago

Well, all of you who felt the need to post a comment about how "Drugs Kill!" and how he could've grown up and gotten off drugs...go to hell all of you. Just because a bunch of FKING N*GGERS said one thing and the cops felt the need to talk about information they didnt know doesn't mean he was a druggie. He was a very prominent man with a family and none of this was drug related. It was a robbery and he was car jacked. Get a fking brain people...all you see on the news is how one or another stupid NIGER felt the need to rob another convenient store or kill another innocent person. It's just typical...people want to be like "Oh poor black people....we are just stereotyped..." Well there are some good black people...but there is a difference between a nier and a black person...these guys were fking N**ERS. What ever happened to vigilante justice? Now these low lifes are just going to enjoy 60 years of food and a roof over there head. Big deal...why not torture them like they've tortured others.

ThinkingOfYou 10 years, 11 months ago

Sorry this happened to you, Derek. We'll miss you.

ThinkingOfYou 10 years, 11 months ago


It's too bad that your heart is so full of hate. It has blinded you.

juliacrickard 10 years, 11 months ago

For those of you judging the value of this man's life, I hope you hold yourself to the same standards. Why would it matter if it was a drug deal gone wrong (which hasn't been proven)? I honestly don't understand the point people are trying to get send with some of these statements.

Does it detract from the value of your existence if you are a drug user. If so, why? Is it because you are not a good contribution to society? Is it because you should know better than to get involved in something so dangerous? Because druggies are just another problem tainting the streets? Are they like cockroaches? Should they be exterminated like this man was? If so, what about the other lowlifes like hookers and bums? Or is it just indifference? Don't kill them ourselves (because that's inhumane). Just turn on a blind eye when they get themselves killed (that's defiantly much more human like in nature.)

Who are you?

Why should any one care when you die? Are you worthy enough for our attention because your another hopeful student in a crowed of many with high ambitions for the future? Are you some white collar number cruncher sitting at a desk all day keeping the spokes in the machine well oiled? Another self proclaimed genius? A teacher cramming down facts on how to prevent global destruction but at the same time leading the way into the scientific discovery of the new a-bomb? A high and mighty person of God or other form of cosmic constitution?

If so you should know not to throw the first stone. It's cool if you analyze a person's life and calculate their importance as long as you take a good look at your own life. I'm sure you will see that it is just as insignificant as the rest of ours are.

chicago 10 years, 11 months ago

Some of these responses are pretty insulting, but that is not surprising. The main problem with the police and the media saying it was a drug-related crime is that it immediately dismisses and excuses the crime itself. Yes, joed, sadly it DOES need to be said: "there is no justification for murdering someone". The average person reading the reports and the articles are given only a few facts, and people seem to just assume that the media or the police report is reputable, so whatever is written is believed. Unfortunately, the blurbs, comments, and insinuations are are not how the world really is. Media controls information this way, whether intentionally or not.

Had their have been no mention of drugs (I think it was pointed out that there were no drugs found, hence the INSINUATION of drugs rather than facts), would you still say that he should not have been in that neighborhood? That he was playing with fire? Innocent people go to bad neighborhoods all the time - all these people are in the wrong? Selfish? The only comments about drug deals were made by the murderer's, or the associates of murderer's.

Regardless, an amazing person was killed in a senseless crime. He left behind family and friends that will struggle with this pain for many years to come, if not forever. The devastation that this has caused is immeasurable. A young father/husband/son/brother/friend's life was taken before its time. Don't let insinuations of drugs by killers and presumptions of a poor neighborhood taint the life and achievements of Derek, he is owed more than that. His family is owed more than that.

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