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Coach’s co-owner found slain on Kansas City trail remembered as a friendly, energetic man

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A well-known metro business owner was found dead Thursday morning along the Indian Creek Trail on Kansas City's south side.

Police call it murder, and are still looking for Mike Darby's killer. He co-owned two Coach's sports bar locations in the metro.

Friends and family say Darby enjoyed walking the trail with his dogs. Police say Monday morning the 61-year-old man was doing just that when he was killed.

Investigators say around 6:30 a.m., a cyclist found Darby's body on the Indian Creek Trail, and then called 911. Police say his two black labs were circling his body during the awful discovery.

For many years, Darby co-owned Coach's Bar and Grill in Kansas City and Overland Park. His business in Overland Park remained opened on Thursday, but the Kansas City location was closed after his employees and friends found out about his sudden and tragic death. FOX 4 talked to a pair of people at the bar who shared their sentiments, but didn't wish to have their names revealed.

"I came by here to see if any of the family was here. It's really a blow. I mean the guy had a lot of spirit and had a lot of energy, a lot of friends. Can't beat it, too bad," a family friend told FOX 4.

"I remember him just as being very friendly, he was always going up to everybody to ask how things were going. He was just a part of everybody else," a regular customer said.

Darby had a huge family and he was a 1973 graduate of Rockhurst High School. Right now it's still unknown how Darby was killed, or if he was robbed. Police are asking any possible witnesses to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.