More details are emerging surrounding the death of convicted killer Loren Herzog, including the discovery of a note he apparently left behind for family members.
The note was found in Herzog’s trailer, and it appeared to have been left for whoever found him, a press release from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office stated.
The note consisted of a message for Herzog’s family, though it did not reference his criminal history or his crime victims, according to the press release.
It is unknown if or when the letter will be made public.
The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office was not able to be reached for comment as of press time.
In addition to the note, more details surrounding Herzog’s death are coming to light.
Preliminary findings by the Lassen County coroner indicate the cause of Herzog’s death was asphyxiation by hanging.
According to the press release, all evidence in the investigation thus far points to the conclusion that Herzog’s death was, in fact, a suicide.
However, the press release goes on to state that the final determination related to the cause of death will be made when all examination reports and toxicology results are complete.
Herzog, 46, was living in a trailer specially designed for him on the grounds at High Desert State Prison at the time of his death.
His partner in crime, Wesley Shermantine Jr., currently is on death row at San Quentin State Prison.
Shermantine, now 45, was convicted in 2001 in the killing of Cyndi Vanderheiden, a Clements resident, and that of three others.
Vanderheiden, 25, disappeared on Nov. 14, 1998. Her body was never found.
Herzog, who grew up with Shermantine, pleaded guilty in 2001 to voluntary manslaughter in connection with Vanderheiden’s death. He also pleaded guilty to being an accessory to the 1980s murders of Paul Cavanaugh, Howard King III and Henry Howell, and to furnishing methamphetamine to Vanderheiden shortly before she died.
This week, nationally known bounty hunter Leonard Padilla stated he was willing to pay Shermantine $15,000 to show law enforcement where the body of Cyndi Vanderheiden is located.
Padilla added that California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials had discussed the possibility of transporting Shermantine to San Joaquin and Calaveras counties as early as Wednesday so that Shermantine could show them where the remains of Vanderheiden and other victims are located.
However, San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore requested that any actions taken to possibly bring Shermantine to San Joaquin County be halted until he was able to speak to local, state and federal authorities to make sure the proper security measures would be taken in the event that Shermantine was let out for a day.
Today, Moore will meet with representatives from the CDCR, the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI and Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office to discuss logistics, according to sheriff’s spokesperson Les Garcia.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.