Friends care for Indian Creek victim's memorial

Posted at 8:12 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 23:21:10-04

A day after investigators announced 22-year-old Fredrick Scott as a suspect in the murder of Mike Darby, a fellow cyclist stopped by Darby's memorial to drop off a clean jersey set at the site.

John Tye said he often saw Mike Darby at his restaurant, Coach's Bar and Grill, before Darby tragically died in May.

"He was a really nice guy," Tye explained. "I didn't really know him but I had met him."

Tye lives in Raytown, Missouri but often uses Indian Creek Trail to ride to his job in Olathe.

His path has led to him often riding by a memorial set up for Darby after his tragic murder this year.

"Two to three times a week I pass by it," he explained. 

With Indian Creek often seeing flooding during rain storms, the memorial site took hard hits following severe weather in the area over the summer.

After a trip this week, Tye noticed a cycling jersey at the memorial had become faded and dirty.

"It was very pretty when it was first out. After the flooding, it just got really bad looking," Tye explained. "I pass it so often I just thought it's not that much effort to pay a little respect to some people that really cared for somebody." 

On Tuesday, Tye decided to take the jersey home.

He cleaned the item and even traced over a faded message reading "God Speed Mike" with black marker.

On Wednesday, Tye put the jersey back at the memorial site while on his ride back from work.

"I just thought it needed to be done," he explained. "I thought I should just go ahead and do it."

With the memorial now back to its original look, Tye hoped more people would stop by and honor Darby.

"I hope people just remember," the cyclist said. "Mike was a good guy." 

Tye's visit to the memorial came the same week investigators announced a development in Darby's case.

Twenty-two-year-old Fredrick Scott has officially been named a suspect in his death, as well as in two other metro homicides that occurred on or near a trail. He faces charges in the murder of two other men, one of which was killed near Indian Creek Trail. 

On Wednesday, those who knew Scott described the man at the center of the cases.

"He would continuously cut my grass up until the homicides started," explained Fredrick Strother, who said he knew Scott for several years. "When these homicides started, I noticed Freddy was nowhere around."

Strother told 41 Action News that Scott worked hard and had good manners as a teenager.

However, he said Scott changed after his brother died in a shooting in 2015.

"He was kind of turned into an introvert. He just went inward," Strother explained. "His brother's death most definitely had an impact on his life."

Strother said Scott often took Indian Creek Trail to get around the area.

After hearing about Scott's alleged connections to the murders, Strother thought back to how he had last seen him months ago.

"We kind of knew then why we hadn't seen Freddy. We put two and two together," he explained. "I want him to have his day in court, get justice and to apologize to the families."

According to court documents, Fredrick Scott has admitted to the murders of both Steve Gibbons and John Palmer.

Investigators have also named him as a suspect in the deaths of Mike Darby, Timothy Rice, and David Lenox.

A motive for the crimes remains unknown.