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'Speed Freak Killer' victim Jo Anne Hobson's remains may have been mixed with those of Michaela Garecht in Linden well

10:20 PM, Oct 10, 2012   |    comments
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  • JoAnn Hobson
  • Michaela Garecht, 9, was kidnapped from Hayward, Calif.

FRENCH CAMP, CA - The remains of a "Speed Freak Killer" victim were found to have been intermingled with the remains of another person.

The remains of Jo Anne Hobson were found inside a Linden well in early February. Forensic anthropologists were able identify the remains of two other victims: Kimberly Billy and an unidentified girl aged 16 to 18 years old, she was 5'1" to 5'4" tall; law enforcement also found the remains of a fetus 28 to 32 weeks old.

RELATED STORY: Remains of teen, fetus found inside Linden well

Death row inmate Wesley Shermantine pointed to the well as one depository for the body of victims that, he said, were killed by his partner Loren Herzog.

According to the Stockton Record, Hobson's mother sent the remains that were found in the well to a laboratory for testing, which found the remains of another person mixed with her daughter's remains.

READ MORE: -Mother: Remains from Linden mass grave were more than her daughter's

The San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore released the following statement in response to the report:

"Initially, I was taken aback to learn there was possibly a mix up involving the recovered remains from the well we dug near Linden.

We relied on the expertise of the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Anthropologist on accepting their classifications of the recovered remains.

Our hearts go out to the family of Jo Anne and all of the victims of Wesley Shermantine and Loren Herzog.

We will continue to work with the FBI and our law enforcement partners to recover remains and we are open to discuss any concerns the families may have."

Michaela Garecht

Last week, Rod Garecht got a call from a Hayward police detective saying that they might finally find out what happened to his 9-year-old daughter Michaela Garecht.

"Basically, he told me there had been some upgrades in the case and they'd found a bone chip or bone fragment that didn't belong to the body that it was sent off with," Garecht recalled.

Michaela Garecht was kidnapped from a Hayward street nearly 24 years ago. When Phillip and Nancy Garrido were arrested for the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard, they were questioned about Michaela's disappearance. But they denied any involvement.

The Hayward police detective told Garecht that the fragment found among Jo Anne Hobson's remains will be sent to another lab for DNA testing to see if it belongs to Michaela.

Michaela's family has been through this before, promising leads that actually led nowhere, but this time, Garecht thinks it might be different.

"I don't know, I'm hoping it will come to a conclusion. It's kind of gut-wrenching, but I'm a survivor," Garecht said. "Like I said, I'd like to find out what happened to her before I die."


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