Family of Regan Gibbs wants her to be remembered as nothing but thoughtful and selfless
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The family of a KU Soccer player wants everyone to know the person Regan Gibbs was -- nothing but thoughtful and selfless.
Regan’s mother Kristin and her sisters Ashlyn, Madelyn, Erin, and Kearan spoke to the media Friday at the Lawrence Police Department.
Kristin says the family met the accused killer once and they believe he manipulated Regan through faith.
Gibbs came from Washington state to be a goalkeeper for the Jayhawks. She was a member of two NCAA Tournament teams during her career at KU.
She graduated in 2019 and was hoping to use her degree in behavioral science to help the homeless and mentally ill.
“We know Regan, a beautiful soul inside and out, no one could dispute that. Regan did everything with an intense drive and love and had a tremendous heart for the homeless, I can’t express that enough,” said Kristin.
Gibbs was found badly beaten Monday night inside an apartment in the 2500 block of West 6th Street in Lawrence.
Lawrence Police Chief Rich Lockhart said the accused killer, Chad Marek, told dispatchers God made him kill his wife.
“She was not legally married to the man that took her from us. He manipulated her through her faith and as we all have heard through domestic violence campaigns, he slowly isolated her from people who expressed concern.”
Kristin said she noticed a change in Regan last fall when her phone suddenly stopped working and Regan was only able to talk to her through the speaker on Marek’s phone. She said she wasn’t allowed to talk to Regan through video chat.
Marek was arrested Monday and is charged with first-degree murder. He remains jailed on a $1 million bond.
Madalyn said Regan loved Jesus and was driven to help others. She would seek those with broken hearts and treat them with comfort and compassion. She feels she lost her best friend.
“Ultimately I knew she was in a better place. That she was, and is, finally at peace and that her voice and her memory will live on in the people she touched,” she said.
Ashlyn, the second oldest daughter, said, “When we were in school, she would find people sitting alone and befriend them. Regan was genuinely interested in getting to know you. She didn’t care what you looked like or what other people thought, she saw the good in everyone.”
Kearan recalled a time when Regan saw an elderly man dancing by himself near a stage playing music. Regan made her down to dance with the man, Kearan and those with them ended up following her. They all were together just living in the moment.
“No matter how closed off you were she just seemed to bring that out of people. I just wish I didn’t take that for granted,” she said.
Besides putting a face to the tragedy, Kristin said the family hopes to bring attention to the signs of domestic abuse.
“I hope by speaking out, we give everyone a better picture of the Regan Gibbs we know in our hearts and I hope that picture will remain when her story is told,” said Kristin.
Kristin and her daughters are now asking for privacy.
“This really does not feel real. I think every one of us are could say that we are expecting her to just come home from one of her long stay-aways in Kansas,” said Erin. “I miss her so much.”
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