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Friday, Sep. 4, 2015

More details of investigation released

Friday, January 28, 2011

(Photo)
Stathis S.M. Kirkpatrick, 18, of Bartley, Nebraska, walks into the Red Willow County courthouse in McCook, Nebraska, for an arraignment Thursday during which he would be charged with first degree murder in the death of 14-year-old Kailee Nicole Clapp of McCook. Accompanying Kirkpatrick are Red Willow County Sheriff Gene Mahon and Deputy Amber Hiatt. Clapp went missing late Thursday or early Friday; her burned body was found late Friday on property of the Bartley Cemetery.
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Charges of tampering with physical evidence, human skeletal remains/prohibited acts and concealing the death of another person were enough initially to jail an 18-year-old Bartley, Nebraska, man during the early stages of the investigation into the disappearance and death of a 14-year-old McCook girl.

Red Willow County Judge Anne Paine declared Thursday morning that the $1 million bail she set Sunday was inappropriate for Stathis Sebastian Mobley Kirkpatrick of Bartley, after he was charged in her court Thursday with first degree murder in the death of McCook High School freshman Kailee Nicole Clapp.

Kailee disappeared from her McCook home between 10:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 20, and 7 a.m., Friday, Jan. 21. An investigation by McCook police officers throughout the day Friday led to the identification of Kirkpatrick as "a person of interest" in Kailey disappearance, and then as a suspect in her death after a body tentatively identified late Friday as Kailey was found on property of the Bartley, Nebraska, cemetery.

In court Thursday morning, Jan. 27, Red Willow County Attorney Paul Wood charged Kirkpatrick with first degree murder, a Class I or IA felony punishable by life in prison or death; use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, a Class II felony punishable by 50 years in jail; and tampering with physical evidence and unlawful burial, each a Class IV felony punishable by 5 years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.

Judge Paine revoked Kirkpatrick's bond and ordered that he be held without bail.

Members of Kailee's and Kirkpatrick's families and reporters filled the county courtroom to capacity.

The courtroom and the courthouse were guarded by 15-20 officers of the McCook Police Department, the Red Willow County Sheriff's Office and the Nebraska State Patrol.

Police initially contacted Kirkpatrick because Kailee's dad had spoken with a subject named Stathis (about Kailee's disappearance) and that Stathis said he hadn't spoken to Kailee for about two weeks, but then said that they had talked on the phone the night before. McCook police officers contacted Stathis, who said he had received a phone call from Kailee the night before, that they had spoken for a short time.

Kirkpatrick was then called to the McCook police station because officers felt he may have been the last person to speak to Kailee before or during her disappearance and that she may have told him where she was going and had gone. Kirkpatrick told officers that he had talked to her twice, possibly between 10 p.m. and midnight, Thursday.

According to investigation records, during their ongoing investigation Friday McCook police officers collected samples of what appeared to be blood and hair in the alley behind the Clapp home in McCook, and more blood samples from the back of a pickup driven by Kirkpatrick.

A McCook police officer and a Red Willow County sheriff's deputy also collected clothing and a comforter with suspected blood stains on them in the bedroom that Kirkpatrick occupies at his uncle Arnold Solberg's house in Bartley.

At times throughout the investigation, Kirkpatrick told officers he spent the night at the home of his girlfriend, a story that the girlfriend and her mother denied.

Later, under questioning, Kirkpatrick told a police investigator that Kailee had called him and when he went to her house, he discovered an unknown male attacking Kailee in the alley behind her home, that he had tried to attack the male subject, who then hit Kailee with his pickup.

Kirkpatrick told the officer that he put Kailee in the bed of his own pickup to take her to the hospital, but the unknown male attacked Kirkpatrick, hit Kirkpatrick with his pickup and put Kailee's body in his own pickup.

Kirkpatrick told officers he chased the male, at speeds up to 90 miles an hour, to the Bartley cemetery, where the male burned Kailee's body.

Kirkpatrick told officers he did not think of calling for help while he was chasing the male subject.

A McCook police officer and a Red Willow County sheriff's deputy found Kailee's body in the Bartley Cemetery.

Sunday, Judge Anne Paine made a finding of probable cause to continue holding Kirkpatrick, and set bail at $1 million on suspicion of tampering with physical evidence, a Class IV felony' human skeletal remains/prohibited acts, a Class IV felony; and concealing the death of another person, a Class I misdemeanor.

  ------

During Kirkpatrick's arraignment in county court Thursday Kirkpatrick's appointed attorney, Derek Mitchell of Lexington, asked Judge Paine for a preliminary hearing in her court.

Paine scheduled the hearing for Friday, Feb. 11, at 9 a.m.

Judge Paine explained that if Kirkpatrick had been under the age of 18 on the date of the offense the case would be transferred to juvenile court. Kirkpatrick will turn 19 on March 5.

Judge Paine revoked Kirkpatrick's bail and ordered that he be held without bail.

Kirkpatrick was transported by Red Willow County sheriff's officers Thursday to the Phelps County jail in Holdrege, Nebraska.


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