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Detectives Seek Remains of Ripon Woman in Manteca Landfill

4:40 PM, Jul 13, 2005   |    comments
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San Joaquin County sheriff's deputies have searched a private landfill for any sign of a Ripon woman missing for more than two weeks and presumed dead. Investigators were following a lead received from a witness last week that the body of 46-year-old Mary Morino-Starkey may have been put in a commercial dumpster in the Manteca area. With the aid of technology, investigators searched through approximately 21,000 tons of refuge dumped at the landfill in the three days following Morino-Starkey's June 15 disappearance. The data from the refuse is being analyzed. The sheriff's department had earlier received information that prompted a search of the city's drainage and sewer system. Manteca Public Works Department employees looked in more than 4,000 manholes over last week. No sign of Marino-Starkey was found. Roy Gerald Smith, 43, a convicted sex offender and child molester, is facing first degree murder and auto theft charges in relation to Morino- Starkey. Detectives think he talked the woman into leaving her home on the pretense of going to the bank to get funds for a boat and trailer she had for sale. He was seen on surveillance tape leaving the woman's car in the parking lot of Franzia Winery where he worked. Starkey's Saturn was located in the Franzia parklng lot four days after her disappearance. She was not with the car. At Smith's arraignment continuance in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Thursday, Morino-Starkey's relatives expressed frustration at not being able to find her. "He (Smith) knows what's going on," said Joey Bieth, a nephew. "He knows what we want to know. He'd help out the situation if he's talk more." Smith's arraignment was continued again to a later date. He remains in San Joaquin County Jail on no bail.


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