King Robert “Bob” Mars, 44, of Richland, Washington was an assistant coach for the Kiona-Benton High School team and taught sixth grade Benton City Middle School, in the town 17 miles west of Pasco. In addition to his busy schedule he also coached wrestling at Kennewick High School. He and his wife, Kris, had three children, including one son who served in the military in Iraq.
On September 5, 2004 Mars was last seen at 11:30 p.m. at the home of the principal where they had been watching video of the football team’s victory and making notes on things to work on in the coming weeks. When Mars had not returned home by Sunday, Kris called in a missing person’s report and the police started the search.
What police found was devastating to all who knew him. He had been stabbed and bled to death “in a matter of seconds” and did not have time to call for help. The police pieced together the events leading up to Mars’ death.
Mars had gone to the middle school to drop off the tape and had parked his Toyota pickup behind the school. The pickup had a broken window and apparently had been ransacked. The football tape was found in Mars’ hand when his body was found.