Kidnap victim's brother says he's still waiting to hear from FBI after botched raid

Jessica Willey Image
Sunday, January 28, 2018
Kidnap victim's brother wants account of botched raid
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ABC13's Jessica Willey speaks to the brother of a kidnapping victim who died in a FBI raid.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The brother of a kidnapping victim who was shot to death by an FBI agent during a rescue attempt wants a detailed account of what happened.

"I'm waiting for them to call me and to tell me how everything happened," said Ernesto Valladares. "They have the responsibility to tell me what happened to my brother. Detail by detail."

With his hands still bound with duct-tape, Ulises Valladares, 47, was shot to death by an FBI agent as they tried to rescue him from a home in northeast Houston on Thursday. The Harris County Medical Examiner lists his manner of death as a homicide, and the primary cause of death as "a gunshot wound of the left upper extremity with re-entry of the torso," which means the bullet pierced his left arm and then his body.

The FBI would answer no questions about the shooting Friday. Even Conroe's police chief is in the dark.

"I haven't spoken with anybody with the FBI. They haven't reached out to me at all. So, I really don't know what's going on down there," Chief Philip Dupuis told Eyewitness News.

The suspects - Nicholas Cunningham, 42; Jimmy Sanchez, 38; and Sophia Heath, 35 - appeared in court Friday morning in Montgomery County on aggravated kidnapping charges. The men also face aggravated robbery charges. They were denied bond.

Heath was given $1 million bond.

The two men, police say, kidnapped Ulises on Wednesday morning from his home in Conroe and left his 12-year-old son behind bound with duct tape. When they were gone, the boy broke free and went for help.

The criminal complaint against the suspects show when they burst into the home, they said Ernesto owed them $8,000. Ernesto Valladares says the claim is a lie.

"Neither my brother, nor I or anybody owed anyone money," Ernesto Valladares said.

He also emphatically denies knowing any of the suspects. Cunningham told investigators he is related by marriage.

Ernesto was emotional when talking about his nephew, Ulises' 12-year-old son, who is now an orphan. His mother died two years ago from cancer.

"His dad had died now. Now I'll be the dad."

Ulises Valladares immigrated to the United States from Honduras more than 30 years ago. As of Friday, his son was still in a foster home in the custody of Child Protective Services.

READ MORE: No bond for 2 suspects in deadly FBI kidnapping, $1M bond for third suspect

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