Archive for Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Appelby was a THS student for two years

November 17, 2004

A man charged with the 2002 murder of a Leawood teenager is a former Tonganoxie High School student.

Benjamin Appleby, also known as Ted Hoover, attended school in Tonganoxie during part of his sophomore and junior years of high school.

In the 1991 THS yearbook, Appleby's sophomore year, he is pictured in group photos of the wrestling team and the industrial arts club.

Appleby, 29, was arrested at his home in Bantam, Conn., on Nov. 8. According to area news reports, he later confessed to attempted rape and murder of Ali Kemp.

Appleby has been charged in Johnson County with first-degree murder in the strangulation death of Kemp, a 19-year-old student at Kansas State University who worked at a neighborhood swimming pool in Leawood during the summer. When she didn't return from work on June 18, 2002, her father searched for her. He found his daughter's lifeless body in the pump room of the swimming pool.

Appleby's bond was set at $1 million.

A police artist's sketch of a person seen near the pool around the time of Kemp's murder was posted on billboards, printed on advertisements in USA Today and aired twice on "America's Most Wanted."

When Kemp was killed, Appleby lived in the Kansas City area where he operated a small pool-cleaning business. Appleby's father lives in Kansas.

Authorities said they had received two tips indicating Appleby might have been involved in Kemp's murder. One of the tips was received about three weeks ago.

When contacted this week, Lee Smith, THS principal in the early 1990s, said he didn't remember Appleby.

"I watched the story on TV and I never tied it together," Smith said. "... I guess you don't think of one of your former students going out and being accused of murder."

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