KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City Police announced they have arrested a man who confessed to two murders. Without his capture, police believe he would have kept on killing.
Derek Richardson, 27, of Kansas City, Mo., was arrested around 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Quik Trip near 169 Highway and Northwest 64th Street. Officers took him in for questioning and said he confessed to the murders.
Police believe Richardson killed 42-year-old Tamara Sparks in October 2011. Sgt. Doug Niemeier said a tipster told police Richardson picked up Sparks – a prostitute – from the Paseo area and brought her back to his home.
The tipster told police Sparks performed a sex act on Richardson and he choked her until she was unresponsive. The tipster said Richardson placed Sparks' body in the trunk of his red Oldsmobile Alero and dumped her body near I-435 in Clay County.
Niemeier said Richardson also confessed to the murder of a second woman - 24-year-old Nicoleone Reed – who police said was also a prostitute. Her body was discovered on August 21, 2012, in a ditch near 134 th Street and Scott Avenue near Kearney.
Police said bleach was poured on both women's bodies to hide evidence.
"Even though these ladies may not have been living the same lifestyle many of you and I lead, they didn't deserve to have this happen," Niemeier said at Saturday night's announcement.
Kansas City Police publicly connected the two crimes just last Friday, asking for information from tipsters.
One key piece of evidence – a size 11 Croc shoe found near Sparks' body – was linked to Richardson through DNA testing. Police specifically asked the public for help in finding the owner of the shoe.
One tipster told police Richardson said he was infatuated with serial killers and that Richardson bragged about his crimes.
Another tipster told police Richardson asked her what she would think if he told her he was a serial killer. She said Richardson smiled as he described being a killer. She was the witness who informed officers of Richardson's missing shoe.
Niemeier said officers pulled long hours to solve the crime once tips started coming in. He said they had to work fast.
"We absolutely stopped a person that was going to kill again," Niemeier said.
Now police will investigate whether Richardson is responsible for any other crimes in Kansas City and other cities he's visited.
Richardson is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse. He is in jail on $2 million bond.