Vigil: 24 Years Since 9-Year-Old Michaela Garecht's Kidnapping

The gathering on Monday at the scene of the disappearance will come as investigators determine whether bones recently found in a San Joaquin County well belong to Michaela.


By Bay City News Service

On Nov. 19, 1988, Michaela was abducted at age 9 as she rode her scooter with a friend to the Rainbow Market on Mission Boulevard in Hayward near the Union City border.

On Monday, the anniversary of her disappearance, Michaela's mother, Sharon Murch, will hold an annual gathering at the market, now called Mexico Super, at 32575 Mission Blvd. in Hayward.

"We do this at 10:00 in the morning, as the approximate time that Michaela was kidnapped is 10:15 a.m.," Murch wrote in a blog post.

Murch lives in Castro Valley.

Family and community members ties yellow ribbons on a tree outside the market. This year Murch's son Robbie will sing a song for Michaela.

Hayward police Lt. Roger Keener said investigators, patrol officers and a captain will attend the ceremony and speak about the investigation and the efforts to keep the search for Michaela active.

The anniversary comes more than a month after between the ages of 5 and 14.

Did 'Speed Freak Killers' kidnap Michaela?

The bones may be those of 16-year-old daughter JoAnn Hobson, according to Hayward police.

JoAnn went missing from Stockton in 1985 and is believed to have been murdered by the "Speed Freak Killers" -- Wesley Shermantine, 45, and Loren Herzog. It is believed they buried their victims at the Linden well.

Investigators discovered the Linden site after being directed there by Shermantine. Herzon hanged himself Jan. 16 at the age of 46.

The two are believed to have killed a number of people in the 1980s and 1990s. They were dubbed the "Speed Freak Killers" because they were allegedly high on methamphetamine at the time of the killings.

Investigators believe two other individuals' remains may be mixed in with the bones in the Linden well.

One of those bones may belong to Michaela, Hayward police said.

Shermantine said earlier this year that Herzog, who attended Linden High School with him in the 1980s, may have abducted Michaela.

Back in October, Murch said that initial tests showed the bone appeared to be Michaela's but that the results were inconclusive because of the bone's condition.

The fragment was shipped Tuesday night to a Bay Area lab in Richmond, Calif., which anticipates a three-week turnaround period for results.

"Everything happens in its time," Murch wrote in a blog post on Oct. 31.

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Thomas Clarke November 19, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Sad that there are no comments. Michaela we pray for you.
Larry Kinslow November 19, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Same here. I remember the case well. I truly believe, at least Herzog is responsible. Herzog looks "exactly" like the artist's sketch rendered at the time of the kidnapping.
destinee cortijo December 10, 2012 at 06:25 AM
It's crazy because my step dad grew up with michaleh and he was very close with the family


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