Clements pleads not guilty in deaths of Isabel Celis, Maribel Gonzales

RAW: Christopher Clements pleads not guilty

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Christopher Clements, the man accused of kidnapping and killing two Tucson girls years ago, had his first court appearance in Pima County Monday, Sept. 24.

Clements pleaded not guilty to 22 felony charges, including first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child porn.

A judge entered the plea for Clements, who had not been assigned a lawyer beforehand. He is being held on $2 million cash bond.

Authorities said the 36-year-old Clements is responsible for the deaths of Isabel Celis and Maribel Gonzales.

KOLD Christopher Clements pleads not guilty

Isabel was 6 years old when she vanished from her parents' east-side home in April 2012. Maribel was 13 years old when she disappeared while walking to a friend’s house in 2014.

Maribel’s body was found days after her disappearance. Isabel’s remains were not located until early 2017.

Both girls were kidnapped, killed and dumped in a desert area near Trico and West Avra Valley roads in Pima County.

Both cases went no where for years, until someone contacted the FBI in February 2017. The source alleged Clements had information about Isabel.

In March 2017, Clements led federal to Isabel’s body. Clements told investigators he did not kidnap or kill Isabel and he refused to say how he knew where she was buried.

At the time, Clements was in the Pima County Jail on burglary charges.

He agreed to reveal the location of Isabel's remains if the burglary charges were dismissed and his vehicle was returned to him.

Authorities agreed and the charges were dropped, but Clements was not released.

Instead he was transported to Maricopa County to face burglary and fraud charges there.

While in Maricopa County, authorities were able to put together a case against him.

He was indicted Sept. 15 and extradited back to Pima County Sept. 23.

TIMELINE OF CASE

  • 1993: Christopher Clements accused of molesting a very young child. He was never charged.
  • 1998: Clements convicted of first-degree sexual abuse in Oregon.
  • 2002: Clements convicted of identity theft and assault in Washington.
  • 2006: Clements convicted of failure to register as a sex offender in Oregon and Florida.
  • 2007: Clements convicted of false reporting in Pima County.
  • 2008: Clements convicted of failure to register in Tucson.
  • APRIL 2012: Isabel Celis' family calls 911 after she went missing from their home.
  • JUNE 2014: Maribel Gonzales disappears while walking to visit a friend. Her body is found days later near North Trico and West Avra Valley roads in rural Pima County.
  • FEBRUARY 2017: Someone contacts FBI alleging Clements has information about Isabel.
  • MARCH 2017: Clements leads federal agents to human remains near North Trico and West Avra Valley roads in rural Pima County. DNA testing reveals the remains belong to Isabel Celis.
  • SEPT. 15, 2018: Authorities announce 22-count indictment against Christopher Clements in deaths of Isabel and Maribel.
  • SEPT. 18, 2018: Clements gets into fight with two inmates at the Maricopa County Jail.
  • SEPT. 23, 2018: Clements extradited to Pima County to face charges.
  • SEPT. 24, 2018: Clements enters plea of not guilty.

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