Missing deputy believed to be in Turkey

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The Sedgwick County Sheriff tells KAKE News that investigators believe Deputy Derick Chandler left the United States for Turkey when he went missing.

The deputy is wanted in an investigation into the sex crime of a 13-year-old.

“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,” said Sheriff Jeff Easter. “Which was Instanbul, Turkey.”

Investigators believe he drove from Wichita to Dallas. From there, he flew to Houston and then took another flight to Istanbul. They’ve even received one tip in the investigation that he planned to join the French Foreign Legion.

In an interview with KAKE News' Greg Miller, Easter said he considered Chandler’s actions a betrayal of the badge.

“We wear this badge for a reason and that is to protect and serve,” he said. “This person was not protecting and serving.”

It was a surprising betrayal, at that. Chandler spent the last year and ten months with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and was considered an exemplary employee. He graduated at the top of his class and had no complaints filed against him, according to Easter.

A background check showed Chandler did face charges after a bruise was found on his stepson in 2013. But Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer wrote in an email that “Subsequent investigation revealed alternative explanations for the bruise on the child’s buttocks so that charge was dismissed in November 2013.”

Easter said that the charge did come up during the department's own background checks when considering Chandler for employment. Because the evidence they had supported the county attorney’s and Chandler’s explanations, he was still allowed to be considered for a position.

“False narratives are presented and sometimes it’s because of a bad breakup and kids are used in it,” Easter said. “That’s what this appeared to be.”

The sheriff did say that background checks are now being reviewed.

On Monday, a deputy found Chandler’s gun, badge, identification and armor in the back of his patrol car. He hadn’t been on duty since last Tuesday.

“We knew something was up at that point and then we had found out Wellington was conducting an investigation into his actions,” Easter said.

Wellington Police have not charged Chandler and didn’t respond to questions about when or if those charges would be filed. Chandler’s family members are said to be cooperating with investigators.

The United States does have an extradition treaty with the country of Turkey, but that wouldn’t apply until he’s been charged.

Chandler is still employed with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, but he’s on unpaid leave. Easter said termination proceedings will begin, which can take at least a couple of weeks.

Wanted Sedgwick County deputy no longer in US, sheriff's office says

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