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Trooper Bret R. Clodfelter
Oct. 1, 1984 - September, 1992
Trooper Bret R. Clodfelter
Trooper Bret R. Clodfelter
Lost In The Line of Duty
 
In the early morning hours of September 30th, 1992, Trooper Bret Clodfelter, age 34, completed a traffic stop on a suspected DUII driver in the suburban area of Klamath Falls.  Bret handcuffed his suspect for the trip to jail; he also agreed to transport the suspect's two passengers to their reportedly nearby residence.  One of the passengers was Franscisco Manzo-Hernandez. Who had a violent history of assault and drug use.  The three men were placed into the rear seat of the patrol car.
When the dispatcher could not get an answer from Trooper Clodfelter on the radio, another Klamath Falls car was sent to check on him.  His vehicle was found about four blocks from the location of the DUII stop, all three passengers were missing and Trooper Clodfelter, still seated in the driver's seat, was found murdered.
This began one of the largest manhunts Oregon had seen in many years.  Officers from local police departments, sheriff's offices, and fellow members of State Police began the search for the killer, many of them volunteering their own time.  The TV and radio stations broadcast the sad and gruesome details of the murder and ran composite drawings and the description of the suspect, both in English and Spanish.  A large reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of Manzo-Hernandez aka: Poncho.  This paid off because on the afternoon of October 2nd, 1992 an informant gave the location where Hernandez was hiding in a barn on the same street where he had shot & killed Trooper Clodfelter.  The officers surrounded the barn & took him into custody as he climbed a fence and fled across a field.