We're grateful to the Troopers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the months of January, February & March
Ronald L. Carey
Trooper Ronald L. Carey, 29 years of age, and his partner, Trooper David C. Yarrington, 24, attempted to capture two hold-up suspects at the Concord Motel, U.S. Route 202, Johnson’s Corner, Pennsylvania, on January 5, 1972. The result of this valorous act ended in tragedy as both Carey and Yarrington were killed. This dual tragedy was perhaps best summarized by Ronald Carey’s mother, who said of her son, “I suppose if he had to go, this is the way he wanted to go, but I didn’t think it would be so soon.” Ronald Carey became a trooper because he wanted to be respected. To his classmates, at the State Police Academy, he was the perfect cop (and) the kind of guy you’d hope your son grows up to be. Lt. Raymond Deputy, assistant Director of Training, characterized Carey as “dedicated, solemn, and trustworthy… he didn’t talk much.” Trooper Carey leaves a wife, Elizabeth Lee, and three children, Lynne Elaine, Jeffrey Ronald, and John William to carry on without him. Ronald Carey was the “ideal husband, helping with the diapers, dishes, and feeding the children.” Trooper Carey was buried in Lawn Croft Cemetery, Boothwyn, Pennsylvania on January 10, 1972. One thousand, two hundred policemen joined the family and friends of Trooper Ronald L. Carey at his funeral service and burial. John Harrington, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police said it (Carey’s funeral) was the largest funeral ever in the nation. Pastor Randy H. Carroll, of the Marcus Hook Baptist Church, put the death in perspective, stating, “The best appreciation you can show for his sacrifice is to be the kind of an officer he was.” (Click here for the newspaper article)
David C. Yarrington
At 3:41 A.M. on January 6, 1972 the following message was broadcast over the State Police radio: “To all cars, Trooer Yarrington expired at 2:45 A.M. this morning.” Trooper Yarrington, 24, a fellow classmate of Trooper Ronald Carey, became the second policeman killed in the hold-ups of two Pennsylvania -- Delaware state line motels. Nationwide attention was focused on Delaware, January 8-9, 1972, as funeral rites were held for two officers. Trooper Yarrington and Carey are only the second and third troopers to die by gunshot since the force was formed in 1923. Governor Russell Peterson expressed sorrow over the deaths. “This is a tragic reminder of the dangerous and courageous job that’s being done every day by out Delaware State Police. On behalf of the people of Delaware, I extend my deepest sympathy…” Trooper Yarrington was, according to Lt. Raymond Deputy, the opposite of Trooper Carey. Yarrington was, to quote the Lieutenant, “a fun loving guy who got a big kick out of everything.” David Yarrington, as remembered by a public school classmate, was “…the toughest kid around until the 7th grade and then he suddenly calmed down.” He became active in the Assembly of God Church and spoke of becoming a minister. David Yarrington is survived by his wife, Janice M. and a son David Jr. Trooper Yarrington was laid to rest in burial ceremonies at Silverbrook Cemetery, Wilmington, Delaware. (Click here for the newspaper article)
LeRoy L. LeKites
On January 13, 1950, a 31 year old Delaware State Trooper was killed instantly just north of Selbyville, Delaware as he assisted a second trooper who was investigating an accident. Corporal LeRoy LeKites of Georgetown was struck as he attempted to flag down a vehicle which was approaching “at a very high rate of speed.” Roy LeKites, a six year veteran, was pronounced dead upon his arrival at the hospital. Funeral services for Corporal LeKites were held at the Salem Methodist church in Selbyville on January 17, 1950. Burial took place at the Roxanna Cemetery and was attended by troopers from Delaware and Maryland. Also in attendance was a large group of faculty and students from the Selbyville schools as a tribute to Corporal LeKites and to console Margaret LeKites, who was one of their own. Corporal LeKites was survived by his wife, Margaret, two sons, Wilson and LeRoy Jr., and his parents. At the time of the tragedy, Margaret paid tribute to her husband and the Delaware State Police with the enclosed missive. (letter: I want you to know how very much I appreciate everything you and the Delaware State Police have done. I’m proud that Leroy was a Trooper and I’m so glad that he had those happy 6 years as one of such a wonderful group of men. The men’s closeness and loyalty to one another is most remarkable. I was so proud that they could be at Roy’s funeral. Sincerely yours, Mrs. LeRoy LeKites And the boys.
William C. Keller
Trooper William C Keller, 23, a member of the Delaware State Police drug unit, was killed in a fatal accident at Tybouts Corner on January 22, 1971. Trooper Keller, at the time of his death, was enroute to the Dover area when a truck pulled into his path. William Keller joined the Delaware State Police, January 1, 1969, fulfilling a lifelong dream. His wife, Janet Walls Keller, bore him a beautiful daughter, Nicole. Both Janet and Nicole were a source of great happiness and pride for Bill. He was filled with love and happiness. Though his lifetime was short as a trooper, he was devoted and very dedicated, not only to his profession but, also, to his family and friends. He was, his Mom relates, A dear and proud American, hoping to eradicate the evils of drugs and all crime. He would be proud of the profession Nicole, his daughter, chose as a counselor and Janet, as a teacher of little children, both serving others. Trooper William Keller was buried in Dover following services at the Trader Funeral Home. In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by his parents, Thomas and Delsie, and two brothers, Thomas and James.
Frances M. Collender
On February 6, 2001, Corporal Frances Collender, 39 became the second female State Trooper to die in the line of duty. She was killed as she attempted to assist a disabled motorist on Delaware Route 1 south of Odessa. Severely injured when a passing vehicle struck her patrol car, she died the same morning. Franny was assigned to Troop 9 and had been with the force since January 1997. Captain David Baylor, Troop 9 voiced these thoughts regarding Corporal Collender. He stated Her actions today were consistent with how she was as a trooper. What she did was protect somebody else from getting hurt, and it wound up taking her life…” Her funeral was held February 9, 2001 at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilmington Manor. Franny Collender was laid to rest at Gracelawn Memorial Park. She is survived by her daughters; Samantha and Taylor; her parents Joseph and Eleanor Allione; her brother and two sisters.
Thomas H. Lamb
Sergeant Thomas Lamb, 43, a 17 year veteran of the Delaware State Police was struck with a heart attack while on duty at Troop 3 (Dover) on February 22, 1944. A native of Smyrna, Sergeant Lamb saw service in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps prior to joining the state police. Superintendent Paul W. Haviland described Lamb’s death “…as a loss to the department and to me.” Thomas Lamb became a trooper, in 1927, four years after the inception of the present Delaware State Police. With his employment, he began a tradition which counts numerous members of the Lamb family (immediate and extended) as Delaware State Troopers. They include Fredrick K. Lamb (retired Major) James E. Turner, Sr. (retired Major) James E. Turner, Jr. (retired Captain) Charles L. Sipple (retired Captain) Charles G. Lamb (retired Colonel). Sergeant Thomas Lamb was laid to rest in February, 1944, at the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Smyrna, Delaware. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth T., three sons, Thomas Jr., James and Charles, and two daughters, Margery and Rosemary.
Kevin John Mallon
Trooper Kevin J. Mallon, 24, was killed on March 20, 1990 in a fatal accident on Delaware Route 16, west of Milton. Flags at State Police barracks were flown at half-staff in honor of the trooper who died when his patrol vehicle ran off the road and struck a tree. Trooper Mallon was enroute to an alarm at a photography studio at the time of his death. Kevin Mallon was born on April 25, 1965 in Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of Bishop Shanahan High School and Kutztown University, receiving a B.S. in Criminal Justice (1987). Trooper Mallon was employed at the Chester County Juvenile Detention Center prior to his appointment to the Delaware State Police in July, 1989. Kevin enjoyed all sports, especially the Philadelphia Eagles. He is deeply missed by his mother, Betty, stepfather, Richard, and his brother and sister, Ed and Kathleen. A ranking fellow officer remarked that, “Kevin, in the short period of time he was with the troop, had developed a lot of friends and was seen as a bright and energetic person with an excellent future ahead of him… (His death) is a tragedy that will be with us for a long time…” Kevin Mallon was laid to rest, on a snowy afternoon, (March 24, 1990), in the cemetery at St. Thomas The Apostle, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. (Photo Gallery)
Exhibit Detailing The 1979 Lambertson Murder Case
On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, the Delaware State Police Museum revealed its new exbibit which detailed the events surrounding the Lambertson Murder Case and included the renown execution of the convicted murder Billy Bailey.
On May, 21, 1979, Bailey tragically shot and murdered Clara and Gilbert Lambertson inside of their home located just north of Dover. Bailey was a habitual offender who was facing possible life in prison for a recent check forgery conviction. On this date, Bailey committed an armed robbery of a local liquor store before traveling to the Lamberston’s residence. Shortly after the murders, Delaware State Police responded and canvassed the area for Bailey. Delaware State Police Aviation located Bailey fleeing on foot. As the helicopter was hovering close to the ground, a trooper pilot jumped from the aircraft and gave chase. Bailey fired a gunshot towards the pursuing trooper, but missed and was ultimately tackled and taken into custody.
Following a successful trial, Bailey was sentenced the death penalty. Bailey refused the option of dying by lethal injection and instead opted to be hanged. On January 25, 1996, Billy Bailey was the first to be hanged in Delaware since 1946 and only the third in the United States since 1965.
The Delaware State Police Museum located at 1425 North DuPont Highway, Dover, DE, 19901, is open and visitors are welcome. Our hours of operation are 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Tuesday - Saturday. We are closed on Federal Holidays. If you have questions, please call 302-739-7700.
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A Memorial Tribute to our Fallen Heroes