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Michaela Garecht: Bone fragment may belong to California girl, 9, missing since 1988

A 1988 photo of Michaela Garecht CBS San Francisco

A 1988 photo of Michaela Garecht
CBS San Francisco

(CBS) HAYWARD, Calif. -The mother of Hayward girl Michaela Garecht is hoping that a bone fragment found in a Central Valley well belongs to her missing daughter who was kidnapped 24 years ago, CBS San Francisco reports.

Michaela was 9 years old when she was kidnapped outside a Hayward market on Nov. 19, 1988. Her mother, Sharon Murch, said Thursday that the 3-inch fragment is being DNA tested at an out-of-state lab.

Police said the bone fragment was unearthed in a well in Linden, near Stockton. The well is where the so-called "Speed Freak Killers," Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog, buried their victims.

The bone fragment was found mixed up in the fragments of another victim, JoAnn Hobson, whose remains were returned to her family for burial. Hobson's mother, Joan Shelley, ordered the bones examined after watching the state dig up the burial site with a back-hoe.

Shermantine and Herzog were convicted of four murders in the 1980s and 1990s. Herzog committed suicide. Shermantine told investigators that there were many more victims, including Michaela Garecht.

Investigators also said that Herzog had family that lived in nearby Castro Valley at the time of Michaela's disappearance, and the sketch of Michaela's abductor resembles Herzog as he looked in 1988.

  • Crimesider Staff

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