Community commemorates slain Wyandotte Co. juvenile officer as a great mom, friend and co-worker

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Dozens of people gathered together Monday night to remember Jennifer Combs, a Wyandotte County juvenile detention officer who was killed by her husband last week in a murder-suicide.

jennifercombswebCombs leaves behind two children, a 17-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son, as well as several siblings and countless friends who say they can’t believe she’s gone.

“It’s really sad that someone who was so beautiful inside and out could go through such horrible things at home,” said Sarahpheena Henry, one of Combs’ co-workers. “You really didn’t know. It was just kind of heartbreaking.”

That heartbreak was tough to shake, as friends and co-workers watched Combs’ family, including her teenage daughter, receive burial flags, then flowers and condolences.

“It’s hard to believe that she’s gone,” said Robby Fennix, a co-worker. “But I believe she went to a better place. I think she’s in Heaven because when I asked her did she make that decision to accept Christ, she told me, ‘Yes.’ So I’m taking her word for it.”

Combs’ brother, Sam Loveday, traveled all the way to KCK from Australia for the service, where he expressed his appreciation for the outpouring of support.

“It’s quite amazing,” Loveday said, “the support that she had and the friends that she had… So we are really grateful for the love that everybody’s given us over the last week. It’s been very difficult.”

Loveday said Monday night’s strong showing of people is proof of, “how much she was loved in the community.”

Henry agreed, adding if she could give Combs a message, “I would want her to know that we loved her very dearly.”

“She was a great person and mother. She was a great person all together and will be very dearly missed.”

The WyCo Sheriff’s Office will host a fundraiser on the steps of the courthouse Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 11 a.m. All proceeds will go to the immediate family.

Combs’ co-workers at the detention center have also planned a balloon release in her honor Wednesday night at 5 p.m., at Pearson Park in KCK.