Sacto 9-1-1
February 7, 2013
New excavation techniques to speed search for victims' remains at Linden well site

A month after beginning excavation of an abandoned Linden-area well, FBI and technical crews say they have changed their techniques to speed up the search for remains of victims of convicted killers Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog.

Excavation of the filled-in well on private agricultural land off Flood Road reached a depth of 86 feet late today, but remains have yet to be found, according to an FBI news release.

The clay and sandstone-laden soil surrounding the well proved the greatest challenge as the team sought to excavate a platform around the well. Excavation of the platform has been abandoned to expedite efforts, officials said. The team currently is operating exclusively within the 5-foot-wide well site.

They said the team will continue work until the well is fully excavated so the contents can be thoroughly examined. The old, hand-dug well was filled in more than 25 years ago.

This is the second well site to be excavated along Flood Road between Escalon Bellota and Waverly roads. Last year, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office excavated a well on an adjacent parcel and recovered the remains for three females and a fetus.

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