Police: Man Facing Vehicular Homicide After Body Found In Saint Jones River 10 Days After Accident

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, according to Sergeant Mark Hoffman.

Hoffman said 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 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, including the number of persons in the vehicle at the time of the crash, ultimately telling officers there were only two people inside the car, said Hoffman. 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 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 said Hoffman. 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 a 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 advised police that Valladares was also in the vehicle said Hoffman.

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.


The Dover Police Department has identified the male subject that was located in the Saint Jones River on July 2nd as 27-year-old Jorge Valladares of Dover. The cause of death is still under investigation, but does not appear to be the result of foul play at this time officials said Thursday.

Original Story

Dover Police are conducting a death investigation after a body was found on Saturday, according to Dover Police Public Information Office Sergeant Mark Hoffman.

Hoffman said on Saturday, July 2, 2022, officers from the Dover Police Department were called to the area of the Saint Jones River, behind Capitol Green for a report of a body being found in the river.

A group of kayakers located the body on the shoreline of the river and notified the police. With assistance from the Dover Fire Department, the body was removed from the water. Hoffman said the subject was a male, but additional details were unknown due to the advanced state of decomposition.

No obvious signs of trauma were noticed on scene, but the cause of death is unknown. The cause of death and identification of the subject is pending further examination by the medical examiners office.