NewsLocal News


Iowa jogger's death reminds others to be safe

Posted at 5:23 PM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 18:40:52-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With the beautiful weather, more people are out running, and after what happened to Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa, they’re taking steps to stay safe.

"I always carry my phone and like a key in case I need to use it as a weapon," said Sarah Doane, who was in Loose Park walking with a friend.

Tibbetts disappeared while on a run last month and was later found dead.

Roger Kemp knows all too well what it's like to get that devastating news. 

"Just sick to my stomach,” he said. “Such a tragedy, tragic event. There are no words."

Kemp's 19-year-old daughter Ali was found murdered in 2002 at the swimming pool where she worked on State Line Road. 

While these kinds of attacks happen, Kemp said he doesn't want another family to go through what his family did.

"We just don't want it to happen to another woman out there, what happened to Ali. It's just unthinkable. Everyone thinks it happens to someone else. It doesn't happen to someone else," said Kemp.

Through a foundation in Ali's honor, they provide free self-defense classes all over the metro area.

"We started the Take Defense program because someone said to me early on, and a friend, he meant this in the best of ways, but he said, ‘Well Roger, it happens.’ And that really set me off because I don't accept this happens. I accept we are going to put a stop to this," said Kemp.

Women at the park said they would fully take advantage of the free class.

"How to use my body weight because I'm always intimidated being a smaller person and a woman. If a bigger man were to come up behind me or something," said Doane.

To stay safe while running, always tell someone where you are going, run trails that are well traveled and if you have your phone turn on your location services. 

Click here to learn more about the Take Defense program.