Posted: Dec 5, 2012 9:12 AM by Irina Cates - MTN News
HAMILTON - A Victor man who is wanted for a 1996 murder in Washington State is fighting extradition after being arrested pn Monday afternoon.
Clifford Reed appeared in front of a Ravalli County District Court judge, where he was read his rights, but he refused to tell the judge his name. This means prosecutors now have to prove the man who appeared in court on Tuesday is the man wanted by Washington authorities.
Reed lives alone in a home on Arrowhead Lane in Victor.
"Just in talking to a guy that I know that knows him, he says that he lives on a pension and does some Ebay stuff, so just kind of a guy who lives by himself and kind of keeps a low profile," says Ravalli County Undersheriff Perry Johnson.
Johnson says he learned about the investigation into Reed several years ago, when King County detectives came to Ravalli County.
"They conducted some interviews. We provided them with some space, mainly just an interview room and an opportunity to bring in whoever they wanted to and I think that consisted of Clifford Reed," Johnson said.
"This case involves the disappearance and murder of Sandi Johnson. She was 28-year-old at the time, a mother of two. She went missing in April of 1996. Her body, or remains were found in 2004 in a remote area of Pierce County," added King County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit Detective Jim Allen.
King County detectives told the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office last week that they're coming back, but this time, to arrest Reed for murder.
"We had done some surveillance since late last week just to make sure that we knew, or had an idea where Clifford lived and where he might be," said Johnson.
As soon as they had the warrant, Ravalli County deputies arrested Reed at a business in Victor.King County investigators say Reed and Sandi Johnson worked together and he's been a suspect from the time she disappeared.
"He said they had a romantic relationship and even indicated they were going to get married," Allen said.
But after investigators talked to his neighbors, Reed changed his story, saying he and Sandi were just friends.
Reed was actually arrested in connection to Sandi's disappearance in 1997, but he was never charged.
Detectives say the evidence they had then is not any different now, except this time they have Sandi's remains.
Detective Allen is asking for help in this investigation from anyone in our area who knows Reed, including friends and ex-girlfriends. If you have information that you want to share with investigators, call (206) 263.2092 or (206) 510.9450.