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Speed Freak investigators ask for FBI help

Feb. 28, 2012 at 9:14 PM   |   Comments

STOCKTON, Calif., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The San Joaquin County sheriff's office has asked for FBI help in tracking down more human remains left by California's so-called Speed Freak Killers.

Sheriff Steve Moore met with FBI officials Friday one day after state Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, wrote to FBI director Robert S. Mueller III for assistance, The (Stockton) Record reported Tuesday.

"I know they have access to ground-penetrating radar that would allow the sheriff's office to cover a much broader area with much less effort, and I believe more expediently and with less expense," Galgiani said. "The FBI can call in experts at a national level. They have a relationship with universities and labs all over the nation that can provide expert assistance. They're world renown for working collaboratively to assist local law enforcement agencies and conducting expert crime-scene investigations."

Investigators have found hundreds of bone fragments belonging to as many as 30 slayings Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog allegedly committed from 1984 to 1999, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Shermantine, who is on death row, offered to provide authorities with the location of 10 to 20 bodies he said he and Herzog dumped near Linden in exchange for $33,000, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Shermantine's offer was ignored for five years until bounty hunter Leonard Padilla stepped forward and paid to hear the information.

Padilla told Herzog -- whose conviction for three of the murders was overturned -- about the information he had obtained and the parolee hanged himself in January, authorities said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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