St. Paris woman goes on trial for murder in death of missing Champaign County woman

Valerie Rider
Valerie Rider

A jury trial starts today for a St. Paris woman who is charged in connection to the death of a missing Champaign County woman.

Valerie Rider, 52, is in the Champaign County Common Pleas Court all week for her trial related to several charges stemming from the October death of a woman who had been reported missing, according to court records.

ExploreRELATED: St. Paris man pleads guilty to several charges related to death of missing Champaign County woman

Rider was indicted in October on aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, gross abuse of a corpse and three counts of possession of criminal tools, court records show. She is currently being held in the Tri-County Regional Jail with a $1 million cash-only bond.

Whitney Hostler, 25, was reported missing Oct. 1, 2020, after she missed an appointment and had not been in contact with family or friends, according to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office. She was last seen around 6 p.m. on Sept. 30 leaving her residence in western Champaign County.

Whitney Hostler
Whitney Hostler

Hostler had not been in contact with any family members or friends, and they were concerned for her well-being after she missed an appointment, the sheriff’s office stated.

The sheriff’s office found Hostler’s body in a wooded ravine near Kiser Lake Road.

ExploreRELATED: 2 indicted on charges related to death of missing Champaign County woman

The investigation into Hostler’s death led them to Valerie and Rodney Rider, who were both arrested around 4:30 a.m. Oct. 2.

Rodney Rider
Rodney Rider

Rodney pleaded guilty in November to tampering with evidence, obstructing justice and possession of criminal tools, court records show. He is scheduled to be sentence on Monday, March 8. He remains in the Tri-County Regional Jail with a $500,000 cash-only bond.

In Other News