Arizona sex offender, 40, to spend his life behind bars for kidnapping and murdering 13-year-old girl

Christopher Matthew Clements was also responsible for the kidnapping and murder of a six-year-old girl in 2012

Arizona sex offender, 40, to spend his life behind bars for kidnapping and murdering 13-year-old girl
Christopher Matthew Clements was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzalez (Tucson Police Department; Screenshot from KGUN/YouTube)
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If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA: Christopher Matthew Clements, a 40-year-old man from Arizona, was sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping and murder of 13-year-old Maribel Gonzalez in 2014.

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Authorities stated that the Pima County Superior Court Judge James E Marner mandated on Monday, November 14, that Clements serve the remainder of his natural life in jail for the murder of young Gonzalez, according to Law&Crime. Judge Marner also sentenced Clements to a 17-year term for kidnapping, to be served consecutively with his life sentence for the murder. In relation to Gonzalez's death in June 2014, a jury found Clements guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping in September 2021. According to a report from KGUN-TV, the prosecution's attempt to convict Clements was mostly dependent on circumstantial evidence including cell phone tracking data, DNA evidence, internet search history and his ex-girlfriend's testimony. 

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Gonzalez was last seen when she walked from her home to a friend's place on June 3, 2014. About 30 miles from her home, her body was reportedly discovered unclothed and placed under tires in a deserted place near West Avra Valley Road and Trico Road. The Arizona Republic reported that according to Clements' mobile phone location data, he drove to the spot where Gonzalez was crossing the street when she was kidnapped.

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Prosecutors reportedly provided proof that Clements was listening to police radio stations and used his phone to search the internet for "Maribel Victoria Gonzalez, murdered children, trace evidence found on a body, and body in the desert." On his iPad, he allegedly had "thousands of photos" of young girls with little to no clothing on, according to KOLD-TV.

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Clements will be tried for the kidnapping and murder of six-year-old Isabel Celis, who vanished from her Tucson home in April 2012, in February 2023. Arizona authorities reportedly failed to recognize a potential connection between Gonzalez's and Celis' disappearances for years, according to Law&Crime.

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Authorities claimed that a tip from the FBI helped them recognize the connection between the cases when Clements was initially charged in 2018. When Clements was 16, he entered a guilty plea to two charges of unlawful sexual penetration with a foreign object, which was when his criminal history began. 

Numerous claims of neglecting to register as a sex offender were also made. In 2009, he was sentenced to 46 months in jail and five years of supervised release. However, he was released after winning his appeal.

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