Former University of Kansas soccer star Regan Noelle Gibbs is dead at the age of 25, and her husband Chad Joseph Marek, 26, has been charged with murder.
According to local news source WIBW, officers from the Lawrence Police Department responded to a call from a north Lawrence home around 7:30 pm on Monday. Upon arrival, they found a woman with fatal injuries who was pronounced dead by medical personnel at the scene.
The woman was later identified as Regan Gibbs, who was a goalkeeper at KU from 2015-2018. Marek was with her when authorities arrived, and he was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. According to a report from the Kansas City Star, authorities believe that domestic violence played a role in the former soccer star’s death.
We are heartbroken about the loss of Regan Gibbs 💔
We share our deepest condolences to Regan’s family, friends and teammates.
— Kansas Soccer (@KUWSoccer) May 18, 2022
Marek was initially held at the Douglas County jail on $1 million bond — the prosecutor argued that a high bail amount was warranted due to the “excessive brutality” of the murder, and “because the defendant was adamant that what he did was justified.”
Officials stated that Marek was the one who placed the 911 call, and that he informed law enforcement that God had instructed him to kill his wife.
“Police have not released the cause of Gibbs’ death pending the results of an autopsy,” The Lawrence Times reported. “But Lawrence Police Chief Rich Lockhart said there was blunt force trauma involved. Marek called 911 Monday night and told dispatchers that God told him to kill his wife, Lockhart said.”
Marek made his first court appearance on Monday, when he was formally charged with his wife’s murder — and when asked if he would like to have an attorney provided to represent him, he replied simply: “Jesus Christ is my attorney.”
KU soccer coach Mark Francis issued a statement upon learning of Gibbs’ passing, saying, “Our soccer program is heartbroken to hear about the tragic loss of Regan. She was a tremendous teammate and young woman, and touched so many during her time at Kansas. Regan will always be remembered for the impact she had both on and off the field. We share our condolences to her family, friends and teammates during this difficult time.”
“Our KU family sends our love, support and prayers to Regan’s family, friends and former teammates as we all mourn her loss,” KU Athletic Director Travis Goff added.
Gibbs, according to a GoFundMe page set up by her cousin Hannah Lewis, is survived by her mother and four sisters. “Regan was only 25, a beautiful, kindhearted girl who loved Jesus and people. She had a big heart for the homeless an hoped to go back to school to become a Physicians Assistant to do mission work.”