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DNA Test To Prove If Remains Found In ‘Speed Freak Killer’ Case Are Of Michaela Garecht

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Michaela Garecht

Michaela Garecht, as she appeared in 1988. (FBI)

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HAYWARD (CBS SF) — The mother of missing Hayward girl Michaela Garecht is hoping DNA testing will lead to closure in a case that has puzzled detectives for over two decades, and link the case to the infamous Speed Freak Killers.

The bone fragment was found mixed up in the fragments of another victim, JoAnn Hobson, that had been 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.

In a blog posting by Sharon Nemeth Murch, mother of missing Hayward girl Michaela Joy Garecht, Murch writes that the three inch bone fragment found in a grave site in Linden where the so-called Speed Freak serial killers, Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog, buried their victims was given to her, and has been sent to an out-of-state lab for DNA analysis.

Michaela’s abduction outside a Hayward market on November 19, 1988 and the subsequent decades-long search by her family has been one of the most prominent kidnapping stories in the Bay Area.

Hayward police believe the bone fragment came from a girl between the ages of five and 13, according to Murch.

Shermantine and Herzog were convicted of murdering four women in the 1980s and 1990s. Herzog committed suicide.

Shermantine, however, revealed to investigators that there were many more victims, including Michaela Garecht.

Investigators have noted other factors that link Shermantine and Herzon to the girl’s disappearance. Herzog had family that lived in nearby Castro Valley at the time, and the sketch of Michaela’s abductor resembles Herzog as he looked in 1988.

KCBS’ Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

In the blog posting, Murch writes that she would be glad to know the truth about what happened to her daughter.

“I think that this is quite possibly it,” she said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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