ONLY ON KOLD: Video of interrogation of accused child killer Christopher Clements
Clements is facing two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Isabel Celis and Maribel Gonzalez
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - KOLD News 13 obtained never-before-seen video of the law enforcement interviews with Christopher Clements, the man accused of kidnapping and killing two Tucson girls.
The 39-year-old Clements is facing 22 felony charges including two counts of first-degree murder. His first murder trial is just weeks away.
Clements is accused of killing 6-year-old Isabel Celis in 2012 and 13-year-old Maribel Gonzales in 2014. Their bodies were found feet away from each other in a rural part of Pima County.
In 2017, Clements sat down with special agents with the FBI.
He was awaiting trial on burglary charges, charges he wanted to be dropped.
In 2018, KOLD obtained transcripts of the conversations Clements had with the FBI, but for the first time, we are seeing the videos.
In one video, Clements is seen wearing an orange jumpsuit speaking with two special agents.
According to their exchange, Clements had his fiancé contact the FBI and tell them he knew where to find Celis, who had disappeared nearly five years earlier.
“I’m not doing this to be a good Samaritan. I’ll be honest, I was involved with some people and that’s how I know,” Clements said.
Clements wanted to strike a deal.
“I think the information I have is a lot more valuable than a conviction or me staying in here,” Clements said.
In exchange for information about Celis’ location, Cleme
nts wanted his Pima County burglary charges dropped and his vehicle that was being held by law enforcement, released to his fiancé.
“Are you saying she might still be alive? Have you heard that?” one agent asked.
“I am saying I am not going to tell you the answer to that question. I know it,” Clements said.
“What purpose did they have for keeping her alive? What purpose did you have for keeping her alive?” another agent asked.
“You’ll have to ask the people who did it. I don’t know. I don’t know what the purpose would be to killing a 6-year-old,” Clements said.
Despite knowing her location, Clements repeatedly told agents he was not directly responsible for Celis’ disappearance.
“I didn’t do this,” he said. “I didn’t have any direct involvement with her kidnapping.”
“If you gave us where she is at, could we go and scoop her up this afternoon? Could we do that, is that possible?” one agent asked.
“Yeah, you could, absolutely, without a doubt. You could have her within 12 hours,” Clements said.
If Clements knew where Celis was for five years, why did he stay quiet?
He claimed he did not want to put his own family in danger by speaking to law enforcement.
“I’m not in here because I care so much about the sanctity and morality of society. What I care about is my family, period,” Clements said.
As the agents began to construct a deal, Clements’ demands expanded to include full immunity so nothing he said about Isabel could be used against him.
Agents asked him why he thought he needed full immunity if he had no direct involvement with Celis’ disappearance.
“It doesn’t matter if I was or wasn’t. I told you I’m not directly involved. I said that I am not directly involved, but I want the language on there to reflect that no matter what you guys’ opinion is. Whether or not I’m directly involved, it doesn’t matter. It can’t be used against me,” Clements said.
The agents worked with the Pima County Attorney to get Clements’ burglary charges dropped and his car released, but by Feb. 28, immunity still was not on the table and agents were not any closer to finding Isabel.
Clements told agents he was 100% sure of her location and “as a bonus, you guys would’ve found out about something else too.”
When agents pressed to learn more about that, Clements remained tight-lipped.
On March 2, despite not having full immunity, Clements met with those agents and gave them a location of Avra Valley Road and Trico Road.
“I am kind of familiar with that area, it’s pretty remote. Are we talking about a gravesite versus a location where she is alive?” an agent asked.
“As far as I understand, she is not,” Clements said.
“You said when we find the location, it’s gonna tell us a whole bunch more. I can’t see where a location in the middle of the desert is gonna tell us anything,” an agent said.
Clements asked his attorney, who was sitting in the room, if he could answer that question and his attorney told him not to.
According to transcripts, we know what happened after that conversation. Clements led agents to the middle of the desert, to that remote area near Trico Road and Avra Valley Road.
Not too far from where the dirt road forks, law enforcement found human remains under a mesquite tree.
All of this was kept from the public until March 31, 2017 when then Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus made the devastating announcement at a news conference.
“Earlier this month, human remains were uncovered from a remote area in Pima County. A portion of those remains were sent to an out-of-state lab, it’s an independent lab for DNA analysis. And, unfortunately, the result of this DNA analysis did confirm that the remains were those of Isabel Celis,” Magnus said.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the conversations Clements’ had with FBI special agents.
Coming up on Friday, we will show you the other deal Clements wanted to make with investigators.
Plus — you can hear who Clements claims was involved with the death of Isabel Celis on a new episode of our podcast “Disappeared in the Desert.”
The podcast is available on SoundCloud, apple and google podcasts, and Spotify.
You can subscribe to get notified of new episodes, which will come out each Friday.
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