Neighbor ‘shocked’ to hear about Olathe teacher’s death amid child porn investigation

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Hours after FOX4’s Shannon O’Brien broke a story about  an Olathe East High School art teacher police say took his own life after being investigated for child pornography, FOX4’s Robert Townsend took the allegation to John Derby’s neighbors in Overland Park.

”That’s just a big shock,” Cutter Genenbacher said. Genenbacher lives just doors away from where Derby lived.

"It’s just a shock because of the close proximity of our apartments. I never really talked to him or knew him, but I did see at least one police officer at his home on Thursday,” Genenbacher said.

According to Olathe East High School’s website, 46-year-old Derby taught metals, jewelry and ceramics at the Johnson County high school. He’d been with the district for about a year. Previously, Derby worked  as a Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Kansas.

FOX4 learned that Derby was at the center of a recent child pornography investigation. On Thursday police raided his home in Overland Park and seized his computer, we’re told that computer is now undergoing a forensic exam.

Hours later, police say they found Derby dead in a field in De Soto. FOX4 also learned that he took his own life.

”That’s just a terrible, terrible accusation to be facing. I wish he hadn’t taken his life, but be more of a man and face the punishment or at least due process and try to clear his name," Genenbacher said.

On Friday, FOX4 also stopped by a Johnson County residence of a woman, listed in a police report with the same last name as Derby. An older woman answered the door and said Lori Derby wasn’t there and shut the door.