Law enforcement agencies in Kansas are scrambling to figure out what exactly occurred surrounding a pedophile teacher at the Olathe East High School, under investigation for allegations of producing child pornographic images and videos with his students, who was found dead.
According to the Olathe Police Department, officers were dispatched to execute a search warrant at the apartment of 46-year-old John Derby, an arts, metals, and ceramics teacher at Olathe East High on Thursday night, after receiving multiple complaints of the teacher being involved in illicit child pornographic distribution ring involving students.
John Derby is an accredited teacher, who prior to working at Olathe East, worked as an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Kansas. His art was once featured on the KU School of the Arts website, where he received worldwide recognition for his work.
According to parents, however, Derby lived a deep, if not dark life in the shadows, secretly preying upon children to fulfill his sickening desires of child pornography.
Once police arrived at the Plaza at Overland Park Townhomes and kicked in the door of Derby’s apartment, they were able to retrieve several electronic devices including a computer and a hard drive, but couldn't find the pedophile teacher.
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As officers scoured the premises of the apartment and nearby facilities, they were unable to locate Derby, but the Overland Park Police Department would later find the body of John Derby decomposing in a field in De Soto, apparently suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Neighbors of Derby are left stunned, shocked at both the apparent suicide and the remarkable allegations of him being a child-sexual predator manipulating his students for his illicit crimes of child pornography.
"It's a terrible, terrible accusation to be facing," said Cutter Genenbacher, one of Derby’s neighbors, in an interview with<a href="https://www.ksn.com/news/kansas/kansas-teacher-in-child-porn-investigation-found-dead/1361790068"> local NBC affiliate KSN </a>.
Genenbacher said that once he heard the claims made against a man that had lived so close to him, he found it to be "a big shock."
"I wish, you know, he didn't take his own life," said Genenbacher. "I wish he would have, you know, been a little bit more man, able to face the actual judicial punishment or, you know, at least get his due process to either, you know, try to clear his name."
The investigation into Derby will proceed, as potential victims of his crimes have yet to be identified, whereas there had been no formal charges filed against the teacher prior to the execution of the search warrant.
Most are left asking what exactly happened between Derby and his students which could have resulted in the teacher taking his own life; with most suggesting that it seemingly implies he was guilty of something horrific and feared prosecution, if not imprisonment
While the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, in cooperation with the Olathe and Overland Park Police Departments continue their investigations, they're asking for parents of any students who may have had inappropriate contact with Derby to contact Detectives at 913-971-7500 immediately.
Forensics investigation results from the electronics taken from the home of Derby will also likely shine a light on what type of activities the pedophile teacher may have been engaged in over the span of his career.
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