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Couple Arrested For 2010 Cold Case Murder Of Teen College Student Found Shot In Culvert

German Clerici's 2010 murder remained unsolved until his former girlfriend's coworkers, Kristopher Valadez and Candace Valadez, were arrested in another state.

By Gina Tron
Police handouts of Kristopher and Candace Valadez

A South Carolina couple has been arrested and charged in the 2010 shooting of a teen boy in Kansas.

German Clerici, 19, was found dead in a culvert in Butler County — just east of Augusta — in early February of 2010, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office recalled in a Tuesday press release.  The Wichita-based teen had suffered a fatal gunshot wound. 

His mother had reported him and his car missing in late January. His car was found in Wichita in June 2010. 

The case went cold for 12 years until, in 2021, Butler County Sheriff Monty Hughey instructed investigators to “take a fresh look at the case.”

“Information was discovered that prompted investigators to conduct follow-up interviews uncovering even more information along with new evidence,” the press release states.

On Sunday, members of the sheriff’s office traveled to Simpsonville, South Carolina to arrest Kristopher Valadez, 32, and Candace Valadez, 32, with the assistance of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and the Wichita Police Department. 

“Both are former Wichita residents and are expected to be extradited back to Sedgwick County to be charged in connection to the shooting death of German Clerici,” the press release states. They would have been 20 years old at the time of the murder.

They are expected to face murder charges, the Daily Beast reports.  It’s not clear if they have attorneys.

Clerici’s girlfriend at the time of his death, Shauna McKee, claimed on Facebook on Monday that she used to work with both suspects at a KwikTrip gas station in Butler County, according to the Daily Beast. She claims the two transferred to another location immediately after Clerici’s murder.

Clerici was an Argentine immigrant and student known for his thick New Jersey accent.

McKee told The Wichita Eagle in 2010 that her slain boyfriend was the “best guy in the world," according to the Daily Beast.

“He had the best heart,” she said. “He was on the right track … his friends were not bad people.”

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