Lawrence man accused of murdering his wife, a former KU soccer player; chief says suspect told dispatcher that God told him to kill her
photo by: University of Kansas
UPDATED 9:01 P.M. MAY 17, 2022
A former University of Kansas soccer player was the victim of an alleged homicide for which her spouse was arrested Monday and is facing first-degree murder charges.
The 25-year-old Lawrence woman, named in charging documents from Douglas County District Court as Regan N. Marek, was the victim in the case. She was a goalkeeper for the KU women’s soccer team in the 2018-2019 season, according to the KU Athletics roster, which lists her name as Regan Gibbs.
Her husband, Chad Joseph Marek, 26, of Lawrence, faces first-degree murder charges. Douglas County District Court Judge Blake Glover set his bond at $1 million and scheduled his next court appearance for May 24.
photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World
According to a news release Tuesday from the Lawrence Police Department, detectives worked through the night Monday and continue to investigate. Regan (Gibbs) Marek was a resident of Lawrence for the last six months, and at the time of her death, she lived at 2500 W. Sixth St., where the alleged crime occurred, police said. Her social media indicates, however, that she has lived here longer. She is originally from Washington state, according to KU’s roster, and has four younger siblings.
Court records indicate that the couple filed for a marriage license in November 2021. Regan Marek’s Facebook page indicates that the couple were married on Nov. 24, 2021.
photo by: Youtube
In an interview with the Journal-World on Tuesday afternoon, Lawrence Police Chief Rich Lockhart said that Chad Marek called 911 himself after the incident. Lockhart said Chad Marek told the dispatcher that he had killed his wife and that God told him to do it.
Lockhart said that Regan Marek was dead when emergency crews arrived. He said he couldn’t provide any specific information about the cause of her death until an autopsy had been completed. He did say that her body had experienced a lot of physical trauma.
Chad Marek was arrested at the scene by LPD patrol officers. He was an occupant of the same apartment, and domestic violence is being investigated as a contributing factor in the death. Investigators were able to notify the victim’s family by late Tuesday morning, police said.
The case has been sent to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office for review. Police note that this is an ongoing investigation, and anyone with information is encouraged to call Lawrence Police Department Investigations at 785-830-7430.
Chad Marek has been frequently seen in downtown Lawrence evangelizing with a bullhorn and playing keyboard and guitar. He has posted videos online decrying COVID-19 vaccines as the “spirit of the Anti-Christ” and saying “Wake up Lawrence, they are coming for your children. The LGBTQ agenda is coming for your children.”
In Douglas County District Court on Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Joshua Seiden said Chad Marek had at least 10 prior convictions, including convictions for battery, interference with medical emergency crews and interference with law enforcement. It wasn’t clear whether any of those convictions took place in Douglas County.
Lockhart said Lawrence police had previous contact with Chad Marek, but only for minor incidents.
“Nothing that would have predicted something like this,” Lockhart said.
In a statement Tuesday evening, the KU soccer program offered its condolences.
“Our soccer program is heartbroken to hear about the tragic loss of Regan,” head coach Mark Francis said in the statement. “She was a tremendous teammate and young woman, and touched so many during her time at Kansas. Regan will always be remembered for the impact she had both on and off the field.”
photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World
photo by: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office