BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
A postmortem forensic examination has determined that the cause of death of a man whose remains were found buried in mid-August in two Bakersfield neighborhoods was “homicidal violence of undetermined means,” according to a coroner’s office news release on Friday.
The remains found buried in neighborhoods on Curnow Road and Grass Creek Drive were identified months ago as those of Alphonso John Hyde. Police reports filed in court say Frank Jude Valles killed Hyde to collect and cash the victim's Indian tribal reservation checks.
It’s suspected that Valles stole $600,000 from Hyde, the reports say. Valles had power of attorney over Hyde, a convicted sex offender.
Hyde’s sister and sister-in-law went to authorities Aug. 9, 2012 and said they’d last heard from Hyde in 2008, the reports say. They had tried to reach him several times over the years but could only reach Valles, who they last talked to in June 2011.
Valles' alleged crimes surfaced as a result of a recording his wife made expecting to find evidence he'd been cheating on her, according to the reports. Hyde had lived with the couple in 2008.
The reports say Valles’ wife, Consuelo Valles, contacted police on Aug. 14 and said she’d secretly recorded some of her husband’s conversations. She put a digital recorder on top of a kitchen cabinet at the Grass Creek Drive home and discovered a conversation in which Valles offered their gardener money to help him move a body.
Officers went to the home and discovered human remains, and then went to a Curnow Road address where more remains were found, according to the reports. They also interviewed the gardener, who admitted helping to move a body.
It remains unclear when and where Hyde was killed.
Valles has pleaded not guilty to murder and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 6.