Reporting Andrea Menniti
LINDEN (CBS13) – FBI agents were back in the town of Linden on Tuesday doing what they called a “site survey” in the investigation Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog, known as the “Speed Freak Killers.”
According to the FBI, agents surveyed a dry field off of Flood Road. They were using a large back hoe to investigate the soil in what the FBI is calling “advance work.” They were finished for the day by mid-afternoon, according to spokeswoman Gina B. Swankie.
Flood Road was closed from Waverly Road to Escalon Bellota Road. The site is about a half mile east of the well where the remains of joann Hobson, Kimberly Billy, an unidentified woman and a fetus were discovered during a search earlier this year.
Shermantine and Herzog were arrested for several murders in a methamphetamine-fueled killing spree in the 1980s and ’90s. They were suspected of killing many more.
Last month, Wesley Shermantine was escorted out of San Quentin prison and brought to Linden to pinpoint where investigators should dig for more remains. No digging occurred on Tuesday, Swankie said.
According to bounty hunter Leonard Padilla, who spoke with Shermantine after the trip, Shermantine pointed out four wells in an open field.
“Basically, the FBI has to go in there and locate where the well is so they are not just digging in the wrong area,” Padilla said.
Transporting Shermantine to aid in the search efforts had been met with some resistance. Only after lawmakers passed a bill was the killer finally able to help.
Phil Martin’s kids have always believed the Speed Freak Killers were behind their father’s disappearance, and for 20 years they’ve wondered where he is.
So news of the FBI’s efforts Tuesday was welcomed by the family, but they still have serious questions and concerns.
“I was ecstatic,” daughter Marie Gillit said. “My first initial thought was ‘Oh my gosh, it’s about time
But Marie worries if they don’t find human remains on the first try, investigators will give up.
“I hate to pray that they find some human remains, but I don’t know what else to do because if they don’t find something, I’m afraid they are going to stop,” she said.
So she anxiously anticipates the FBI’s next move, along with so many other families that have waited decades for answers.
“Unfortunately, these people are thrown away like my dad, like garbage, and it’s time to bring him home,” she said.