His wife on Saturday revealed the sad and disturbing irony behind the story of the Lenexa man whose decomposed body was found at a Kansas City International Airport parking lot eight months after he was reported missing.
Carolina Potter believes her husband, Randy Potter, might have chosen to end his life at the airport because he knew his family would most likely look for him there.
She is a flight attendant. So whenever she flew out for work, he would drop her off. And he would pick her up when she got back from tending to passengers up and down the East Coast.
That’s why the Potter family was so insistent that authorities check the airport parking lots when he went missing Jan. 17. And it’s why Carolina Potter cannot understand why authorities did not find her husband’s body in his work truck in Economy Lot B at Kansas City International Airport until a few weeks ago.
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“I am mad now,” she said before a memorial service attended by friends, family and co-workers of Randy Potter at Black Hoof Park in Lenexa. “I am beyond mad.”
She’s especially angry with airport officials, who have yet to provide an explanation for why it took so long to find the white Dodge pickup owned by his employer, T-Mobile, that Potter left home in on the last day he was seen alive.
The company that operates the city-owned lots, SP+, is supposed to, according to its contract, inventory the license plates of all vehicles in the airport’s 25,000 parking spaces every night.
The family provided airport officials with the truck’s license number. Did it not show up on the nightly inventory sheet for some reason, or did no one check?
“He could have been found, Carolina Potter said.
But the truck wasn’t found until Sept. 12, when someone parked at the lot reported a foul odor coming from the truck.
His decomposed body was wrapped in a blanket and the parking ticket he’d pulled upon entering lot was dated the same day he’d failed to show up for work and was reported missing, along with his truck and a gun he normally kept at home.
Among the 30 folks attending the memorial was attorney John Picerno, who the Potters hired to find the answers to the mystery. Also there was private investigator John Underhill, who drove thousands of miles throughout Kansas and Missouri looking for Randy Potter, an avid outdoorsman who family members believed might have ended up at any number of park and lakes around the area.
Underhill stood during the service to honor Carolina Potter and the Potters’ two children — Nichole, 27, and Matt, 24 — for their bravery during the ordeal.
“What they went through is just amazing,” he said.
Carolina Potter said she and her husband met in her native Sicily when he was stationed there with the U.S. Navy. Their kids were born there before the family moved to the U.S. in the 1990s. They moved from Florida to Lenexa in 2008 for his job at T-Mobile, where he was a manager.
Randy Potter was a kind soul, Carolina Potter said, with a great, sarcastic sense of humor. But he was also a very private person who kept his feelings to himself.
She doesn’t know why he felt the need to drive to the airport that morning. The thoughts go around and around in her head.
What she wouldn’t give now to hear his laugh again, she said.
“I miss him every day.”