24 years to the day since Michaela Garecht disappeared from in front of a Hayward convenience store, her family may be closer to closure because of a connection to the notorious Speed Freak Killers.
KTVU reporter Rita Williams recently received a letter from Death Row written by surviving Speed Freak Killer Wesley Shermantine. In it, he claimed he's been labeled a rat snitch for pointing the finger at his former crime partner.
At the Hayward vigil marking the anniversary of the girl's disappearance, Sharon Murch showed a mother's love that is just as strong today as it was the last time she saw her nine-year-old daughter Michaela.
"If she is alive, if she's out there, then she needs me," said Murch.
Almost a quarter century later and the unsolved disappearance still eats at the gut of police officers trying to find her.
The anniversary vigil was bittersweet as officers await DNA analysis of a child's three-inch bone found in a San Joaquin County well with the remains of other suspected victims of one half of the Speed Freak Killers, Loren Herzog.
"I can't really believe this is it and yet I know that it might be," said Murch.
On Monday, Williams showed the lead investigator in the Garecht case the letter she just got from Shermantine.
"The thing about Shermantine is this; he's provided results and therefore cannot be ignored," said Hayward Police Inspector Kevin Atkins.
Herzog, who committed suicide in January of this year, bears a strong resemblance to the sketch of Michaela's kidnapper. There was also a smudged palm print on the girl's scooter believed to belong to the man who took her.
However, when pressed on whether the print was a match to Herzog's, authorities remained evasive.
In the letter, Shermantine wrote that he felt bad for Michela's mother.
"But look, I had nothing to do with her daughter," the letter read.
Shermantine said he believes Herzog killed Michela and told Hayward police to look in wells in the Hayward-Castro Valley area.
"You can bet 100 percent wells in that area hold victims," Shermantine said in the letter.
Police said they were not actively searching any well sites in the Hayward area.
However, Atkins said they might depending in part on what they learn in the next few weeks as far as whether the bone now being tested is Michaela's.
"In whatever way we can we just want to bring Michaela home," said Murch.
In the meantime, Murch's wait and heartache continue.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.
City officials joined the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department and members of the community Thursday, December 5th, for the lighting of San Francisco’s official holiday tree, located outside historic McLaren Lodge.