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Update: Arrest Made in Connection with Body Located in Saint Jones River

Incident Number: 50-22-20297

Date and Time: Saturday, July 2nd, 2022 at 4:04 p.m.

Location: St. Jones River, behind Capitol Green, Dover, DE

Contact: Dover Police Public Information Office
Sergeant Mark Hoffman Email: mark.hoffman@cj.state.de.us


The Dover Police Department has made an arrest in connection with the discovery of a body, later identified as Jorge Valladares (30), in the Saint Jones River on July 2nd, 2022. During the investigation, information was obtained that Valladares’ death was possibly the result of a motor vehicle accident. On June 22nd, 2022, officers from the Dover Police Department responded to East Water Street for a single vehicle crash that was approximately 225 feet off the roadway at 4:17 a.m. The crash involved a red 2013 Jeep Wrangler. While investigating the crash, the driver and a passenger provided conflicting information about the crash, to include the number of persons in the vehicle at the time of the crash, ultimately telling officers there were only two people inside the car. Officers checked the surrounding area and did not locate any additional evidence or persons.

Both the driver (Luis Coello, 30) and the 41-year-old male passenger were both transported to Bayhealth Kent Campus for treatment of non-life threatening injuries from the crash.

During the investigation, it was discovered that the crash had actually occurred on June 21st at 11:21 p.m. The first call to police did not occur until 4:17 a.m., nearly a 5 hour delay.

A review of evidence obtained from the vehicle and surveillance footage from nearby businesses showed that the Jeep Wrangler was traveling eastbound on Water Street, approaching a sharp left curve (in front of Del-One Federal Credit Union). The Jeep did not brake and drove over the curb, traveled down an embankment, turning over multiple times. Evidence obtained from the vehicle shows that none of the three occupants were wearing seatbelts. It is believed that Valladares was ejected from the vehicle and landed in the Saint Jones River. Autopsy results show that Valladares’ had traumatic head injuries as a result of the crash.

During the 5-hours between the crash and the first notification to police, Valladares’ body moved a significant distance as the result of the river’s current. Valladares’ body was located on July 2nd by a group of kayakers, approximately 197 meters from where he likely entered the river.

At no point in the investigation did the driver or passenger of the vehicle advise police that Valladares was also in the vehicle.

During the initial crash investigation, Cuello (30) was charged with Driving Under the Influence and additional traffic offenses.

As a result of the investigation following the discovery of Valladares’ body, Cuello was also charged with Vehicular Homicide 2nd Degree. Cuello was arrested in Newark without incident and committed to SCI on a $7,000 secured bond.

A mugshot of Cuello was not available at the time of release. Cuello is a resident of Newark, DE.

Identified Locations are Approximate

If you wish to provide information on this case or other criminal activity, please contact the Dover Police Department at (302)736-7130.  Callers may remain anonymous.  Tips may also be submitted to law enforcement through Delaware Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333 or online at delaware.crimestoppersweb.com; a cash reward is possible for information leading to an arrest.

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Dover Police Victim Services Unit is available to provide help and guidance.  You can contact the Victim Services Unit at 302-736-7134 or by email at: Diane.Glenn@cj.state.de.us

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