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Elisabeth Gaston/Herald-Chronicle
Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richard shakes hands with Osage County Sheriff’s Deputy Blake Reker, left, who was honored Monday for his assistance in finding the body of a missing child in a Franklin County homicide case.

Elisabeth Gaston | Reporter

LYNDON—Osage County Sheriff’s Deputy Blake Reker was honored during Monday’s Osage County Commission meeting.

The meeting was moved the open area just outside the commission chambers to accommodate the crowd present to honor Reker, including Reker’s family, other deputies, Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards, Franklin County Administrator Lisa Johnson, Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn and Osage County Undersheriff Jeff Johnson. After welcoming everyone, commissioner Ken Kuykendall turned the meeting over to Dunn.

“On May 11, 2013, while checking ditches and bridges, deputy Reker found items that led him to believe he might have found something connected to the Franklin County case,” Dunn said. “Upon further investigation, Deputy Reker had discovered the body of Lana Leigh Bailey, the missing child from the Franklin County homicide scene.”

Dunn praised the work that Reker had accomplished during his five years with the sheriff’s office and called his dedication to helping find Bailey beyond that of his duties.

“Deputy Reker brought closure to a family that had suffered a great loss,” Dunn said.

Deputy Reker was presented with an award for meritorious service by Richards.

“On May 6, 2013, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office began investigating what turned out to be a quadruple homicide. Many agencies responded to our request for help, including the Osage County Sheriff’s Office. As a result of the dedication and professionalism of all involved, an arrest was made on May 9, 2013,” Richards said, referencing the arrest of Kyle Flack, 27.

“At the time of arrest, three identified victims had been located, but 18-month old Lana Leigh Bailey had not been located,” Richards said. “Osage County Sheriff’s Deputy Blake Reker was aware of the investigation that was being conducted in nearby Franklin County. Knowing the search for the missing child continued, on May 11, 2013, Deputy Reker used his knowledge of his county to begin searching within his patrol area.

“As a result of his initiative, Deputy Reker located some items he determined to be connected to the missing victim,” Richards said. “The devotion and accomplishment of deputy Blake Reker bring great credit upon himself, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement community.”

After Richards spoke, Lisa Johnson spoke on behalf of the Franklin County Commission. She thanked Reker and the Osage County Sheriff’s Office for their cooperation with the investigation.
“We sincerely appreciate the spirit of cooperation from a great neighbor,” Lisa Johnson said.

County commissioner Gaylord Anderson spoke for his fellow commission members.

“On behalf of the county commission, we’re very proud of you (Reker) and congratulate you.”

Many of those in attendance shook hands with deputy Reker and thanked him for his service to the community.

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