Police search home believed connected to women’s murders

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police searched a home in the 10800 block of N. Skiles Avenue Tuesday morning, believing it to be connected to the Derek Richardson case. Richardson has been charged with first-degree murder for the deaths of Tamara Sparks, 40, and Nicoleone Reed, 23, whose bodies were found dumped in rural areas of Missouri in October 2011 and August 2012, respectively. Richardson also faces two counts of abandonment of a corpse.

Police said Richardson confessed to killing the women, describing in detail what he did.

Police said Richardson met Tamara Sparks, 40, in October of 2011. They say Sparks was working the streets and Richardson picked her up and took her back to his duplex off of northeast Winn. Richardson told detectives that’s where Sparks began to perform sexual acts and then he strangled her. He dumped her body off the side of the road in Clay County, pouring bleach onto her body.

In August of 2012, police found the body of Nicoleone Reed, 23, also dumped in Clay County. They discovered that bleach was poured over her body as well.

Law enforcement officials connected the two crimes and say one tipster told them Richardson told the informant about the killings. Police also say one crucial piece of evidence stood out: a size 11 Croc canvas loafer which was left at the Sparks crime scene.

Another tipster told police that the shoe belonged to Richardson. Police say the tipster’s DNA was on the shoe.

“That shoe made a huge difference,” said KCMO Police Sgt. Doug Niemeier. “It did seem to be a small item, but you never know in a homicide or any other case what piece of evidence, no matter how big or how small, may solve your case.”

Police say they believe Richardson was targeting these women because he felt they were lesser than him. Some who knew him said he was also infatuated with serial killers.

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