LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — DNA found under investigative journalist Jeff German’s fingernails matched a sample taken from Clark County Public Administrator Rob Telles, leading to his arrest Wednesday, the 8 News Now Investigators confirmed Thursday.
Telles, 45, a Democrat and an elected official, was taken into custody after police served a search warrant at his west valley home earlier in the day. Investigators confiscated two vehicles, including one that matched the description police released in a video a few days earlier of the suspect’s vehicle.
German, 69, was found deceased outside his home on Saturday. He had published several stories about Telles’ office, saying it was in “turmoil” in the months leading up to his stabbing death last weekend.
Telles lost a three-way primary in June in the Democratic race for the public administrator job. The county position runs the office that administers a deceased person’s estate is no family is found or if the family is unable.
Telles appeared to blame German for the loss in a series of public statements and tweets, police said. One tweet read that he lost the primary because of a “[manufactured] scandal,” another reading that German was “mad that I haven’t crawled into a hole and died.”
Around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, Las Vegas Metro police received a 911 call from a person who said they had found German deceased in a yard on the side of his home, a report obtained by the 8 News Now Investigators said.
German was found with seven stab wounds, including ones to his neck and torso, the report said. Investigators identified German as the victim from a wallet and phone in his pocket.
As police spread out to find surveillance video, they discovered a neighbor had captured a person walking in the area and arriving to German’s property the day before.
The suspect, later identified as Telles, walked into German’s yard and attacked German as he was coming out of his garage, the report said.
Telles then walked away “calmly.” Several minutes later, Telles’ maroon Denali parked in front of German’s house, the report said. Telles then returned to the property in an attempt to look for something, the report said. Telles then drove off.
The SUV did not have a license plate, the report said. In a news conference Thursday, investigators said the car is registered in Telles’ wife’s name. After investigators released photos of the car, they received several tips about its possible connection to Telles, they wrote in the report.
During a medical examination of German’s body, police recovered a suspect’s DNA from under his fingernails. Investigators suspect German attempted to defend himself in the stabbing attack.
While awaiting the DNA results, investigators found a car matching the description of the SUV seen outside of German’s home, the report said. Investigators also discovered German’s prior reporting about Telles and the issues inside the public administrator’s office.
Through other investigative means, detectives tracked Telles’ car leaving his neighborhood and driving to the murder scene, the report said.
The report obtained by the Investigators indicates police took a sample of Telles’ DNA around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. Detectives then detained Telles and questioned him, releasing him around 2 p.m. and driving him back to his house.
Telles was taken into custody around 6:30 p.m. and was found with superficial wounds. Police also suspect he may have ingested narcotics in an attempt to die by suicide.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo said the DNA evidence that connected Telles to the scene was found on a straw hat and shoes police confiscated as evidence from his home during a warrant search on Wednesday. The hat and shoes had been cut up in an effort to destroy the evidence, Captain Dori Koren added.
Judge Elana Lee Graham ordered Telles to be held without bail in his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. Telles was due in court again next week.