Lawrence police chief, friends mourn death of former KU soccer player Regan Gibbs

Regan Gibbs
Posted at 6:23 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 10:27:02-04

LAWRENCE, Kan.  — Friends of 25-year-old Regan Gibbs, a former University of Kansas soccer player, are mourning her death.

Lawrence police were called to the couple's apartment Monday where they found Gibbs dead.

Police said her husband, 26-year-old Chad Joseph Marek, told 911 dispatchers God told him to kill his wife.

Marek has since been charged with first-degree murder.

Austin Fitzgerald, a friend of Gibbs' who met her through a Christian worship group at KU, said he was shocked and saddened to hear of her death.

"There's no words to really comprehend it, and just making sense of it, is just hard," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald described Gibbs as someone with a bubbly and gentle spirit and one of the kindest people he's ever met.

"She's very intentional, really wanted to dive deep into who they were no matter if you met her yesterday or three years ago," Fitzerald said.

Lawrence police Chief Rich Lockhart said he isn't aware of any previous reports filed about the couple but also said that isn't unusual.

"A lot of time victims of domestic abuse are reluctant to call police because they know that it's going to be worse after the police leave," Lockhart said.

He said the tragic crime is a reminder to pay attention to those closest to you.

"If you are a family member or friend and you see someone who you think is in an unhealthy relationship, do what you can to get them connected with some service," Lockhart said.

As friends and family still work to process her death, Fitzgerald hopes she'll be remembered for her kindness towards others.

"I just hope that people can learn from her and apply it to their own life," Fitzgerald said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, after which police should have a cause of death.

Lockhart said the cause of death could not be immediately determined due to major trauma to the body.

If convicted, Marek could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years. His next court date is May 24.