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Missing Girl: Michaela Joy Garecht - CA - 11/19/1988


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#26 Shannon

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:14 PM

http://www.mercuryne...ng-hayward-teen

Testing delayed on bone fragment linked to missing Hayward teen Michaela Garecht

By Kristin J. Bender

Posted:  11/01/2012 07:51:14 PM PDT
Updated:  11/01/2012 07:56:28 PM PDT

A delay at an out-of-state laboratory means it could be another six weeks before Hayward police receive the results of a test on a bone fragment that could belong to missing Hayward girl Michaela Garecht, who vanished in 1988, police said Thursday.

The 3-inch bone fragment was unearthed with other remains earlier this year in a San Joaquin County well. The fragment was sent to an Arizona DNA lab for testing and then was scheduled to go on to a Virginia lab for further analysis. But there was a hold up of some sorts, Michaela's mother, Sharon Murch said, and the bone is still in Arizona.

The nature of the delay was not immediately available from authorities Thursday; Murch also declined to specify the delay.

For now Murch, of Castro Valley, waits.

"If it turns out to not be Michaela, it would probably be nice to know that sooner rather than later," she said. "Either answer will be difficult in different ways. If it does turn out to be Michaela, I have a lot of trepidation as to what that will be like."

The delay means she will hold the annual gathering on the anniversary of Michaela's kidnapping. People will gather about 10:15 a.m. Nov. 19 in front of the market where the 9-year-old girl was kidnapped 24 years ago. At the time, the store was the Rainbow Market. It is now called Mexico Super.

"Perhaps it will be the last gathering of this sort. Perhaps it won't," Murch wrote on her blog.

The discovery of the bone fragment came after the remains of murder victim JoAnn Hobson were excavated from the Linden well, believed to hold the victims of the so-called "Speed Freak Killers," in February. Hobson's remains were returned to her family for burial, but her mother sent them to the Human Identification Laboratory at Cal State Chico for testing. There, investigators determined that Hobson's remains had been mixed up with possibly two to four others.

Police contacted Murch on Oct. 8 about the commingling and told her they were testing the fragment.

The age of the victim the fragment was determined to belong to -- a girl between the ages of 5 and 13 -- and the time period it was believed to be from were the only two clues linking the bone to Michaela's disappearance, police have said.

Murch said she isn't angry about the delay, saying Hayward police have been "very caring and respectful ... going above and beyond to do the best job possible."

"I really appreciate the time to get my head in order and get my life in order rather than just have it thrown on me. I'm being patient," Murch said. "I'm afraid of the answer so it might be easier to wait for the answer than to actually get the answer."
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#27 Lori Davis

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

http://www.sfgate.co...p#ixzz2HXWilNGg

Bone from well not Michaela Garecht's

Henry K. Lee
Updated 11:05 pm, Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A bone fragment taken from a San Joaquin County well linked to the duo nicknamed the Speed Freak Killers is not that of a 9-year-old girl kidnapped from outside a Hayward store almost two decades ago, police said Wednesday.

The 3-inch fragment is not from Michaela Garecht, who disappeared in November 1988 after a man snatched her from the store, said Hayward police Sgt. Eric Krimm, citing DNA tests conducted by the state Department of Justice crime lab in Richmond.

Police declined to say whom the bone belongs to.

But Michaela's mother, Sharon Murch, reached Wednesday shortly after Hayward police told her the fragment was not that of her daughter, said investigators told her that the remains were that of Kimberly Ann Billy, a previously identified 19-year-old slaying victim from Stockton who went missing in 1984.

"I'm still kind of letting it settle in," Murch said. "I guess I'm a little let down that I haven't found an answer, but I think I'm more relieved than anything else."

The DNA testing ends any link between the disappearance of Michaela and convicted serial killers Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog. The two were arrested in 1999 and convicted of killing four people during a 15-year, methamphetamine-fueled murder spree. Investigators have said they believe the pair may have killed as many as 19 people.

Shermantine began revealing locations of the pair's victims from his cell at San Quentin State Prison last January. Herzog, who was on parole in Lassen County, committed suicide the same day he was told of the revelations.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office used heavy equipment last year to excavate a well in Linden, the killers' hometown, but ended up mixing remains of some victims together, angering families of the missing. That search uncovered the remains of Billy and two other possible Speed Freak Killer victims.

On Monday, the FBI began searching a second well in Linden for remains. The agency said it plans to use machinery at first and then search by hand.

"We have no information to lead us to believe that Michaela Garecht's remains will be discovered there," Krimm said.

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#28 Lori Davis

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 05:28 AM

http://www.recordnet...7/101087/A_NEWS

 

Sheriff criticized over missing persons

 

By Joe Goldeen

Record Staff Writer

Posted Apr. 7, 2015 at 7:15 PM

 

STOCKTON — Sheriff Steve Moore came under harsh criticism during the public comment session of Tuesday’s San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors meeting for his handling of events in the aftermath of a 15-year methamphetamine-fueled killing spree during the 1980s and '90s attributed to Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog.

 

The berating from three members of the public comes on the heels of an accusation by state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, that the Sheriff’s Office had improperly deleted records from the national database of missing persons, most notably suspected murder victims of Shermantine and Herzog, before those bodies could be recovered.

 

Galgiani also accused the Sheriff’s Office of refusing to cooperate with police detectives from Hayward and Reno during their separate missing person investigations that led them to believe there might be a connection to San Joaquin County’s notorious duo.

 

Sue Kizer, 68, told supervisors that on Oct. 18, 1988, her 18-year-old daughter, Gayle Marks, disappeared from central Stockton and has not been heard from since. Kizer acknowledges that her daughter is dead. The incident, investigated by the Stockton Police Department, has long since gone into its cold case files.

 

When Kizer learned many years later that human remains were being unearthed in an abandoned well near Linden and that they were possible victims of Shermantine and Herzog — active during the same period her daughter went missing — she wanted to know if any evidence there could be linked to Gayle.

 

What she got, she says, is the cold shoulder from Moore and his department.

 

“When they were going to start the dig on the wells in Linden, I called out to the Sheriff’s Office and spoke to Sheriff Moore. I spoke to him about the chances of my daughter being in the well. His answer to me was, ‘What do you want me to do about it?’" Kizer said.

 

”Sheriff Moore has a dangerous lack of empathy, and the fact that he treated me so disrespectfully was very disturbing and hurtful.”

 

When Kizer went to the Sheriff’s Office in French Camp in an attempt to view a recovered photo that a family member told her looked like her daughter, she said a detective “talked to me like I was a criminal, no empathy at all. She didn’t even try to smooth out the situation.”

 

When Kizer finally was shown a photo in September 2013, it was not her daughter.

 

“Now I seriously wonder if it was the right picture or just some picture to make me shut up and go away. I know two detectives who have sworn under oath that they were treated the same way,” Kizer said, referring to the investigators from Reno and Hayward.

 

Kizer also criticized Moore for utilizing crews from the county Public Works Department to excavate the wells, calling it “just stupid, especially when there are colleges who will do it free. Filling in the well and then bulldozing over it has crushed any remains that may have been left. Now I will never know if my daughter was in that well or not. I will never know.”

 

Moore, who was in the board chamber when the criticisms were made, responded later during an impromptu interview. When asked about Kizer’s comments, Moore offered an apology:

 

“I know that she has contacted the Sheriff’s Office on numerous occasions and she is very dedicated to her daughter’s memory. And if there are any interactions with me that left her with the impression that I do not care, I wish to apologize to her, because that is definitely not what I intend to put forward," he said.

 

“It would make me nothing less than ecstatic to be able to solve all the missing persons cases within San Joaquin County, regardless of what agency, so with that I can tell you that we are more than willing to reach out to all law enforcement agencies to be able to share with them what we have as we have done in the past. And we will continue to do so.

 

"I have also made my first inquiries with the (California) Department of Justice to seek out potential solutions to be able to better make this available and be able to better solve the situation as it currently exists.”

 

Two other speakers came to the podium to address the Board of Supervisors about Moore. Frank Gayaldo, 49, described himself as a retired lawman now growing grapes in Lodi. In 1990, as a bounty hunter, he was approached by the family of kidnapped 9-year-old Michaela Garecht, who went missing from Hayward in November 1988, a month after Gayle Marks disappeared in Stockton.

 

“I am embarrassed to admit I did nothing to help. I ended up bounty hunting for another seven years before going to work on death row in San Quentin. I captured every single fugitive I ever chased, which was in the hundreds. That is if you do not count Michaela Garecht's killer. I am truly sorry for my personal and professional failure in this regard,” Gayaldo said.

 

“It is an irrefutable fact that there are a growing chorus of law enforcement professionals and victim families who feel the single biggest obstacle to solving numerous missing person cases from our area and beyond is Steve Moore. I find that totally intolerable.”

 

The third speaker was Tracy Espinoza, who grew up in the east county and described herself as a friend of Chevy Wheeler, murdered in 1985 at age 16, and Cyndi Vander Heiden, killed in 1998 at 25. Years later, after suffering close family losses, she started doing her own research into their cases and follow-up investigations.

 

“Sheriff Moore has stopped or impeded their investigation,” in reference to the Reno and Hayward cases. “Today, I stand in honor of Gayle Marks, but I hope my voice will help speak for Gayle who cannot speak for herself.”

 

While the supervisors could not comment on Kizer’s remarks, she implored them: “You think because the crimes are so old we will forget. I only wish each and every one of you including the sheriff could experience the loss of a loved one for 24 hours. I am asking that you do something about this creepy, disturbing and totally rogue sheriff.”


Lori Davis, Project Jason Forum Moderator
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Help us for free when you shop online or do a websearch:
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If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.





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