Friday, November 21, 2014

Deputy honored for finding baby’s remains

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 6/26/2013

LYNDON — Blake Reker, Osage County Sheriff’s deputy, was patrolling county roads that connected with neighboring Franklin County as it approached dusk May 11, paying special attention to culverts, ditches and bridges — likely places where a small body could be hidden.

The newly minted deputy spotted some items that caused him to pause and investigate further — leading to the discovery of a body thought to be that of 18-month-old Lana Bailey, Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards announced during a 1 a.m. press conference May 12 in front of his office, 305 S. Main St., Ottawa.

LYNDON — Blake Reker, Osage County Sheriff’s deputy, was patrolling county roads that connected with neighboring Franklin County as it approached dusk May 11, paying special attention to culverts, ditches and bridges — likely places where a small body could be hidden.

The newly minted deputy spotted some items that caused him to pause and investigate further — leading to the discovery of a body thought to be that of 18-month-old Lana Bailey, Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards announced during a 1 a.m. press conference May 12 in front of his office, 305 S. Main St., Ottawa.

Richards awarded Reker, who has been a deputy patrol officer in Osage County since January, with a meritorious service award and accompanying uniform ribbon June 10 during a ceremony at the Osage County Courthouse, Lyndon, for his efforts in locating the infant’s body.

In a follow-up interview, Richards said he thanked Reker for his devotion and professionalism, and that the deputy had brought great credit to himself, the Osage County Sheriff’s office and the law enforcement community, as well as some closure for Lana’s family.

Lana Bailey had been presumed dead along with three others in a quadruple homicide in rural Ottawa that shocked the surrounding community in early May. The Franklin County Attorney’s office filed criminal charges in the case May 10 against Kyle T. Flack, 27, including two counts of capital murder, four counts of murder in the first degree, one count of rape and one count of criminal possession of a firearm. Flack’s next court appearance is scheduled 1:15 p.m. July 8 in Franklin County District Court. He is being held in the Franklin County Adult Detention Center on $10 million bond.

Flack’s arrest May 9 came within 72 hours of the discovery of three bodies at 3197 Georgia Road, west of Ottawa, which have since been identified as Kaylie Bailey, Andrew Stout and Steve White, authorities said. Bailey, along with Lana Bailey, her 1 1/2-year-old daughter, were reported missing May 3. Stout and White reportedly hadn’t been seen since April 25.

Authorities have not commented on the causes of death, nor the motives for the killings, but confirmed a firearm was used in commission of the crimes.

Bailey and her daughter were last seen at the Georgia Road residence, the sheriff’s office said previously, where Stout and White had lived with Flack. Bailey reportedly was in a relationship with Stout. Her body was found May 6 in a detached garage on the property. The two men were found May 6 and May 7 in the home, according to the sheriff’s office.

While law enforcement officials and the Kansas Attorney General’s office — the lead prosecutor in the case — have not confirmed if the medical examiner was able to positively identify the infant’s body, local authorities said they are confident the body deputy Reker discovered during his 10-hour patrol shift was that of Lana Bailey.

Reker, who has worked with the Osage County Sheriff’s office since 2005 — first in dispatch and then at the jail — was assigned to patrol duty in January after he graduated from the state law enforcement training academy in Hutchinson, Laurie Dunn, Osage County sheriff, said.

Reker’s discovery was able to provide Lana’s family with some closure, Dunn said.

“Deputy Reker went above and beyond the call of duty,” Dunn said. “He took it on his own initiative to search those locations. If he hadn’t done that, the [infant’s] body might not have been found, and the family still might not have any closure for their horrific loss.”

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