Sacto 9-1-1
January 9, 2013
Team tries to reach well bottom in search for murder victims

A team excavating a Linden-area well site in a search for remains of murder victims postponed hand digging and sifting activities, which were expected to have begun today.

The work, undertaken by a team of FBI personnel and technical experts, began Monday. They are searching the site on private agricultural land off Flood Road for victims of serial killers Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog.

At the close of operations on Tuesday, test boring indicated that the bottom of the well, which had been filled in, had not been reached, despite a test bore that extended to a depth of 75 feet below the opening of the well.

Examination of soil brought to the surface during the boring process and exploration with a camera inserted in the bore site revealed that only fill dirt had been reached, according to an FBI news release. Officials said no refuse, remains or other materials were present, and the hard pan bottom of the well had yet to be reached.

To determine the actual depth of the well, additional equipment was brought to the site and work will continue through Thursday.

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 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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