Family speaks on death of Regan Gibbs, ex-KU soccer player

The family of a woman killed this week in Lawrence gathered Friday to remember the former college soccer player who they say was slowly isolated from her loved ones by her partner.

Regan Gibbs was found dead Monday. The man she lived with, Chad J. Marek, has been charged with first-degree murder in Douglas County District Court. Police said domestic violence was “being investigated as a contributing factor.”

The 25-year-old’s mother, Kristen Gibbs, and four younger sisters spoke at a news conference at the Lawrence Police Department.

Kristen Gibbs said she watched in frustration as Marek reportedly became more controlling. She alleged conversations with her daughter were only allowed on his phone, on speakerphone.

“He manipulated her through her faith,” she said. “His control over her became very clear during the one and only time we met him.”

“I hope you all talk about the warning signs people should look for and what people can do to stop an ending like this when you talk about Regan.”

Regan Gibbs grew up in Washington and came to the University of Kansas where she was a goalkeeper on the women’s soccer team. She also volunteered at a homeless shelter in Lawrence.

Kristin Gibbs recounted her daughter’s accomplishments including earning a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science in 2019 from KU and her wins on the school’s soccer team.

“Regan did everything with an intense drive and love, and had a tremendous heart for the homeless,” her mother said.

After graduating, Regan Gibbs worked in behavioral health at a hospital in Phoenix and had planned on attending a physician’s assistant school to help people experiencing homelessness and mental illness.

“She would behold and seek out the broken-hearted with tender compassion,” her sister Madelyn Gibbs said.

Her sisters noted her talent on the soccer field and her ease at befriending anyone in need.

Regan Gibbs moved back to Lawrence last fall.

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Regan Gibbs, right, a former goalkeeper for the University of Kansas soccer program, was identified as the woman killed Monday night in Lawrence. Submitted Lawrence Police Department

Police respond to homocide

Lawrence police were dispatched just before 7:30 pm Monday to an apartment in the 2500 block of West Sixth Street, according to a news release from the department.

When officers arrived, they found Marek and Regan Gibbs, who was mortally injured. Shortly after, emergency medical workers declared Gibbs dead at the scene.

Marek was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He made his first appearance Tuesday in Douglas County District Court where his bond was set at $1 million.

His next court appearance is scheduled for May 24.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Kansas crisis hotline at 888-363-2287.

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I’m a breaking news reporter, who helps cover issues of inequity relating to race, gender and class around the metro area.

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