Abilene officer who died in crash began law enforcement career in Sedalia

Elyse Ybarra (Abilene Police Department)

An officer killed in a Texas car crash Sunday evening has been identified as a former member of the Sedalia Police Department.

Detective Elise Ybarra began her career in law enforcement with the Sedalia Police Department in August 2010 as a telecommunications officer. She became a Sedalia police officer in January 2012 and served in that capacity until May 2014, according to Sedalia PD.

"She just had a way of carrying herself," said Commander Larry Ward with the Sedalia Police Department. Ward said Ybarra moved on from the Sedalia Police Department after her husband got a job as an athletic trainer at Abilene Christian University. He worked at Missouri Valley College when the couple lived in Mid-Missouri, according to Ward.

Elise started at the Abilene (Texas) Police Department in June 2014, serving as a patrol officer and most recently as a child abuse investigator for the Special Victim's Unit.

"She went through the entire police academy again," said Ward. "She was already certified in Missouri, so she probably didn't have to. She was moving to a different state, with numerous different laws, regulations, and she thought 'if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it at the very best. A lot of folks wouldn't do that."

Ward remembered her as a tremendous officer who was constantly involved in community activities, such as the Special Olympics.

"She had a heart for service," Ward said. "In our profession, you have to have a heart for service, and she truly did.

She and two other officers were headed to a Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas Sunday when they drove up on slow-moving traffic. Ybarra, the driver of the detective vehicle, entered the line of traffic but a short time later, a white pickup truck came upon the traffic and collided with Ybarra's vehicle. She died at the scene while the two others were taken to a hospital by ambulance. The Abilene Police Department stated it did not believe their injuries to be life-threatening.

Ybarra was survived by her husband of eight years, Adam Ybarra, and their 10 month old daughter, a release stated.

At a news conference Sunday night, Abilene Police Chief Stan Stanridge noted Ybarra's time with the Sedalia Police Department.

"I have zero doubt they are mourning the loss of a family member, so I extend my sincere condolences to them," said Standridge.

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