Kansas authorities are searching for a Sedgwick County Deputy who is under investigation for an alleged sex crime involving a 13-year-old, and they believe the man has fled the country.
According to Wellington PD Chief Tracy Heath, Derick A. Chandler, 29, was accused of misconduct by some residents of Sumner County on the evening of Sunday, August 11. Chandler subsequently disappeared from his Wellington home in the early morning hours of Monday, August 12.
After the deputy failed to show up to work on Monday, his gun, badge, identification, and armor were discovered in the back of his patrol car by a co-worker, according to KWCH12.
An appeal was put out last Tuesday by the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office for information regarding the missing deputy and his 2015 white Dodge Charger. The alert was canceled after investigators discovered that Chandler drove from Wichita to Dallas before taking a flight to Houston.
“We worked with Homeland Security who could pull up his name and was able to tell us what flights he was on and his final destination,” Sheriff Jeff Easter said, according to KAKE. “Which was Instanbul, Turkey.”
The deputy is believed to have flown to Turkey with plans to join the French Foreign Legion.
Chandler left behind a wife and five children. His mother-in-law, Debic Brown, spoke with CrimeOnline and confirmed that her daughter and Chandler have two children together. Her daughter has two children from a previous relationship and also adopted Chandler’s 9-year-old daughter.
According to family and friends, the missing deputy emptied the couple’s bank account before fleeing the country. His wife works a part-time job and has been left to figure out how to pay the mortgage, car payments and other bills on her own.
Brown has been overwhelmed with the community support for her daughter and grandchildren. Donations of school supplies and clothes for the children have been received.
Chayse Easterly, a family friend of the Chandlers, admits he “never saw it coming.” He is in the early stages of planning a motorcycle donation ride as a fundraiser for the family.
“Many people want to help, but don’t know exactly how…I know there is a large, supportive community out there who loves to ride their motorcycles for a good cause.”
A Sedgwick County Deputy under investigation for a sex crime involving a minor left behind his wife and children when he fled to Istanbul with plans of joining the French Foreign Legion. #DerikChandler pic.twitter.com/pjtaTdFJqj
— Missing Pieces Network (@Network4Missing) August 20, 2019
Easterly said she hopes the ride will help the family by showing community support.
“It is going to be a long road ahead for the family and showing the community’s support will help keep them fueled for their journey.”
As for the future of the missing deputy, KSN reports that according to Easter, “He’s been suspended without pay, and then we’ll start the process of termination at this point.”
“We are sworn to uphold the badge, not break the law.”
Deputy Chandler’s mother-in-law summed up the whole situation as “a horrific nightmare.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation directly to Chandler’s wife and children may do so by visiting Security State Bank located at 101 N Washington Ave. in Wellington, Kansas.
CrimeOnline spoke with a representative at the bank who said that non-locals can mail a check made payable to “Kristina Chandler” with “donation” written on the memo line.
At this point no charges have officially been filed against Deputy Chandler, so he is not considered a fugitive.
The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo: Derik Chandler/Police Handout]