Sacto 9-1-1
January 10, 2013
Team locates well bottom in search for murder victims

Four days after beginning excavation of a Linden-area well site in a search for the remains of murder victims, the FBI reported that the bottom of the filled-in well has been located.

The well site is on privately owned agricultural land off Flood Road. A team of FBI personnel and technical experts hope the excavation will yield remains of victims of serial killers Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog.

It had been estimated that the bottom of the well would be located at 50 feet, but today the bottom was located more than 200 feet below the surface of the team's operational area, according to an FBI news release. Unfortunately, officials said, the bottom of the well contains water that must be drained so a camera can get a better view of what may be in the deepest reaches of the well.

To drain the water, a specialized pump will be brought to the site, but officials said it may be days before technicians can get a clear view.

Excavation of another well was undertaken in February 2012 after Shermantine told Sacramento bounty hunter Leonard Padilla and a Stockton newspaper reporter of a "bone yard" filled with the victims of the killings in the 1980s and 1990s. That excavation unearthed more than 1,000 bones and fragments that anthropologists later connected to three victims and a fetus.

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