Two charged in local woman’s murder

ST. PARIS — Valerie and Rodney Rider Sr. of rural St. Paris were arraigned in Champaign County Municipal Court on Friday in relation to the alleged murder of Whitney Hostler, a 25-year-old resident of western Champaign County reported missing by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday afternoon. The married couple were arraigned via video from the Tri-County Regional Jail, Mechanicsburg.

Deputies found Hostler’s body in a wooded ravine near Kiser Lake Road on Thursday, according to a joint news release from county Prosecutor Kevin Talebi and Sheriff Matthew Melvin.

Valerie Rider, 52, is charged with murder, tampering with evidence, gross abuse of a corpse and three counts of possessing criminal tools. Bond was set at $1 million and a preliminary hearing scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 9 in municipal court.

Rodney Rider Sr., 54, is charged with two counts of obstructing justice, tampering with evidence, gross abuse of a corpse and three counts of possessing criminal tools. Bond was set at $500,000 and a preliminary hearing scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in municipal court.

Relatives of the victim reportedly expressed concern to authorities after Hostler missed an appointment and had not been seen since she was reported to have left a western Champaign County home Wednesday evening.