Family talks about Indian Creek Trail murder victim Mike Darby

Posted at 7:35 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 12:27:05-04

Friends and family members of recent homicide victim Mike Darby gathered for his funeral on Monday, four days after police found his body along Indian Creek Trail.

Investigators still have not released the cause of death for the 61-year-old, but his brother shared on Monday the emotions his family has felt since the tragedy.

"It's outrage. It's hurt and sorrow. It's revenge," explained Bob Darby. "How could somebody take the life of such an important person?"

Darby was known around the metro area for his community service, generosity, and kindness.

One of his best-known community events was the Tour de Hope, which has raised around $50,000 since 2012 for an organization benefiting families and community development in Kansas City's east side.

"Many people all thought Mike was their best friend, which he was. He was my best friend," his brother explained. "That's why it's so tough."

Investigators believe Darby was killed as he walked his dogs along Indian Creek Trail near Wornall Road and 103rd Street last week.

For his brother, Darby's death continues to make no sense.

"In a blink of an eye we lost Mike," he explained. "It wasn't like he was sick and we had time to prepare for it. He walked out the door and never came back." 

Police said Darby's death last week may be connected to three other similar homicide cases near Indian Creek Trail dating back to last August.

In all cases, the victims were white males between the ages of 54 and 67. Three of them were walking their dogs on or near a trail.

John Palmer died last August while walking along Indian Creek Trail. 

His body was found by a pedestrian in the area of Bannister Road and Lydia Avenue. 

On Monday, his cousin spoke to 41 Action News about the case.

"It was the day before his birthday. He took his daily walk and never came back," explained Janelle Kristian. "When no one could reach him, family members went looking for him and found his truck in the parking lot surrounded by caution tape."

John Palmer

Much like the Darby case, police still have not released a cause of death.

"There's no explanation for it and it's very confusing," Palmer's cousin said. "I believe that we requested a viewing for his memorial service and they said that we wouldn't want one."

Kristian explained how Palmer loved cooking and giving back to people, which made his death confusing.

"We just couldn't believe it. We just figured that he must have seen something," she said. "In all the years I've known him, he just doesn't have any enemies."

After his case resurfaced last week, Kristian hoped the possible connection could help lead police to finding answers.

"I feel like maybe now they would actually find out what happened," she explained. "I feel encouraged to believe that they'll dig deeper."

With police continuing to search for a suspect possibly connected to all the cases, family members continue to hope justice will be found.

"We want it solved so nobody else has to go through what we've gone through," explained Bob Darby. "I feel so sorry for the other families of the victims."