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Father Charged With Murder Of Beloved Kansas City Honor Student Daizsa Bausby

Courtesy of Wasiba Hamad
Daizsa Bausby, front, was killed by suffocation in March of this year. Her father, Jerry Bausby was charged late Tuesday with her murder.

Exactly six months after 18-year-old Southwest High School honor student Daizsa Bausby was found dead in a motel room, Jackson County prosecutors have charged her father with her murder.

After investigators received positive DNA results, 40-year-old Jerry K. Bausby was charged late Tuesday with first-degree murder, sodomy, incest and sexual abuse.

On the morning of March 21, Daizsa was found by a cleaning crew face up in the bed of a room at the 4 Acres Motel in South Kansas City. The following day, her mother, Laetta Walker-Bausby filed a missing persons report. 

On May 10, her death was declared a homicide by suffocation.

It was clear she had a significant impact on her community. Her classmates honored her at their high school graduation, dedicating the ceremony to her and leaving an empty seat in the front row.

Daizsa was at the top of her class at Southwest Early College Campus. She was an honor student, a member of the cheerleading squad and set to graduate with enough credits for an associate’s degree from Penn Valley Metropolitan Community College, where she had been participating in an early college program.

After a long wait, hearing the news hasn’t brought closure for friends and family.

"Murder is always a heinous crime, but to take the life of someone so beautifully loving and pure is truly an unspeakably selfish and disgusting thing," says Hayley Steel, a close friend and mentor. "She loved everyone so much despite enduring so many horrible things."

Her troubled family life was well-known among her close friends. Shortly after Daizsa’s death, her friend Wasiba Hamad said she and others close to Daizsa believed they knew what had happened.

“Daizsa got off her job from Foot Locker, went home. Her and her dad . . . went to a motel, and the dad disappeared and nobody knew where Daizsa went,” Hamad said in an interview in May, before Bausby’s death was officially declared a homicide.

She remembers feeling confused.

“OK, so why isn’t her dad in jail? Did he get questioned? Wasn’t he the last person with her? Why isn’t he in jail?” Hamad said.

Four days after Daizsa’s body was found, Laetta Walker-Bausby issued a protection order against Jerry Bausby, and filed for full custody of the children.

Court documents dating back to 1994 reveal an extensive criminal record for Jerry Bausby. He has a history of drug abuse and possession with intent to distribute and several DWI misdemeanors.

Over the years, protection orders have been issued against him and then dismissed. In 2005, he pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic assault in the second degree, for physically abusing a family member, including hitting, kicking and throwing a television at the victim. He also pleaded guilty to violating a protection order the victim had issued against him.

While he was receiving long-term substance abuse treatment at Ozark Correctional Center, he wrote a letter to Jackson County Judge Jay Daugherty in 2006, asking for forgiveness for a minor infraction.

“I miss my kids dearly and can’t wait to get free to be able to find out what’s going on with them. I never wanted my kids to be ‘shocked’ like this in their lives and around strangers,” he wrote.

He goes on to write he endured serious abuse as a child.

“This is not something that I had planned on my children to have to go through,” he wrote.

Andrea Tudhope is a freelance reporter and producer for KCUR 89.3. You can reach her at andreat@kcur.org

Andrea Tudhope is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Kansas City, Missouri. She is currently coordinating producer for America Amplified, a national public media community engagement initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 
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