Indian Creek Trail homicide victim honored for community service

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Phoenix Family gala on Friday night honored the life and community service of Mike Darby, whose body was found along Indian Creek Trail this week in a case now being investigated as a homicide.

Darby was known by many for his generosity and kindness.

On Friday night, the Phoenix Family posthumously honored him with an award for his leadership in community service.

"Everything he did always had a charity aspect to it," explained Keith Steiniger, a friend of Darby. "He never wanted recognition. That wasn't important to him."

During a special tribute and toast to Darby at the event, Steiniger said he kept his friend's memory close by.

"He'd be giving everybody else credit," Steiniger explained. "In my mind, I think that's what he would have said."

Friends said Darby often planned poker tournaments and cycling events to help those in need.

The Tour de Hope, which Darby started in 2012, helped raise around $50,000 for an organization benefiting families in need and community development in Kansas City's east side.

"Our experience with him exemplifies that sense of generosity and that's the kind of person that he was," explained Matt Farmer of Hope Center. "The ways they've invested in us, the funds they've given to us have helped us to bring about transformation within the lives of our youths and families."

Darby's body was found along Indian Creek Trail on Thursday morning.

While the cause of death and motive are still unknown, police are investigating his death as a homicide.

Officers said Darby was killed while walking his dogs.

Friends told 41 Action News that he often went to the Indian Creek Trail to pick up trash and keep the area clean.

"It's a huge loss, it's a huge hole," explained Steiniger. "I can't even comprehend."

A day after learning the tragic news of the homicide, Steiniger said a generous and kind life was cut too short.

"I think the community lost one of the most giving people I've ever known," he said.

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