Twenty-five days into excavation on agricultural property in the Linden-area, FBI personnel and technical experts have yet to discover human remains.
Crews have dug to a depth of approximately 65 feet below grade within an old well site in a search for the remains of victims of convicted killers Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog.
Progress has continued at a rate of about 5 to 7 feet each day of operations, according to an FBI news release. Excavation of the soft, sandy fill dirt within the well has proceeded relatively smoothly, officials said. The fill dirt is conveyed to the surface to be sifted so no materials are overlooked.
The hard, clay-laden soil of the land surrounding the well has posed the greatest challenge, officials said. A safety area around the well must be excavated in tandem with the well excavation to ensure the teams have enough room to operate safely, and to respond to possible evidence and emergencies.
"The investment of time and resources in this extensive investigation effort was not made in haste or absence of thorough investigation and careful consideration of available information," Herbert M. Brown, special agent in charge of the Sacramento Division of the FBI, said in a written statement. "We thank the public and the many families of the missing who have shown tremendous patience and support while we remain focused on the task at hand."
This is the second well site to be excavated along Flood Road. In January 2012, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office excavated a well on an adjacent parcel, recovering the remains of three female victims and a fetus.