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Bounty hunter claims Cyndi Vanderheiden’s remains are near San Andreas

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Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 9:11 am, Tue Jan 28, 2014.

The remains of Cyndi Vanderheiden lie on property in the San Andreas area, less than a quarter-mile from those of another murder victim, Chevelle “Chevy” Wheeler, according to Sacramento bounty hunter Leonard Padilla.

Vanderheiden was a Clements resident who disappeared in 1998 and has not been seen since.

Meanwhile, it was unclear Monday whether convicted murderer Wesley Shermantine Jr. will be brought to San Joaquin and Calaveras counties to show authorities the location of the remains of Vanderheiden, Wheeler and possibly dozens of others.

San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore, Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz and San Joaquin County District Attorney Jim Willett agreed on Friday to co-author a letter to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation requesting that agency’s assistance in bringing Shermantine to the two counties to point out the remains.

San Joaquin Sheriff’s spokesman Les Garcia said Monday there was nothing new to report.

Attempts to reach Kuntz were unsuccessful on Monday. Calaveras County Sheriff’s authorities directed media questions to Garcia.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation isn’t talking either.

“I can’t discuss any pending investigation,” Corrections spokesman Luis Patino said Monday morning.

Padilla and retired FBI agent Jeffrey L. Rinek have accused Moore of derailing an attempt to search for the bodies last week. He contends Moore blocked the effort, which would have included releasing Shermantime for several hours to lead authorities to the remains. Moore, however, said he just wanted all agencies and key individuals to be smoothly coordinated.

Rinek said in a letter to the media that he went to the location of Wheeler’s remains on Jan. 15. Shermantine provided him the exact address, which is east of San Andreas, Rinek said. Rinek added that he would like the FBI’s Evidence Response Team to do a thorough crime scene investigation of the location of Wheeler’s remains and those of other victims.

Shermantine is on death row at San Quentin State Prison after being convicted in 2001 of murdering Vanderheiden, 25, in 1998; Wheeler, 16, of Stockton; Paul Cavanaugh, 31, of Stockton; and Howard King III, 35, of Lathrop. Wheeler was murdered in 1985, while Cavanaugh and King were slain the previous year.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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1 comment:

  • Tony Carvalho posted at 5:56 am on Tue, Jan 24, 2012.

    One Tin Soldier Posts: 6

    I think the LESS MEDIA attention this gets is better for everyone. MEDIA is going to make it more difficult for law enforcement and cause reward seekers to get in the way. Why dont you "keep it on the down low" till they do what they do.



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