Aug 13, 2022

Kan. murder suspects who fled to South Carolina remain free on bond

Posted Aug 13, 2022 1:00 AM
Kristopher Valadez-photo Sedgwick Co.
Kristopher Valadez-photo Sedgwick Co.

SEDGWICK COUNTY— Two suspects accused in the the death of a Kansas man whose body was found in a culvert in 2010 made their first court appearance Thursday.

 Kristopher Valadez, 32,  Simpsonville, South Carolina is charged with 2nd degree murder, according to the Sedgwick County District Attorney. Candace Valadez, 32 of Simpsonville, S. Carolina, is charged with aiding a felon.

Both are former Wichita residents and are free on bond, according to the district attorney.  Their next court hearing is August 22. 

The couple were extradited from South Carolina to Kansas on Tuesday and booked into the Sedgwick County Jail.

In February of 2010, 19-year-old German Clerici's mother reported him missing after she had not heard from him since late January, according to a statement from the Butler County Sheriff's office.  Clerici's car was also missing.

Several days later, investigators found Clerici shot to death in a culvert east of Augusta. Four months later, deputies found his car in the 3000 Block of East 21st North in Wichita.

Candace Valadez-photo Sedgwick County
Candace Valadez-photo Sedgwick County

In 2021, Butler County Sheriff Monty Hughey had investigators take a fresh look at the case.  They discovered information that prompted investigators to conduct follow-up interviews and learned more information and new evidence in the case. 

 In July,  investigators from the Butler County Sheriff's officials traveled to South Carolina. With the assistance of the Greenville South Carolina County Sheriff's Office and Wichita police, deputies arrested the couple. Both are former Wichita residents.