Speed Freak Killers Case Reopened; Families, Investigators Hoping for Answers

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY -- It was the 2012 search for bones in a Linden well – a horrendous undertaking that Marie Gillit hoped the mystery of where her father, Phillip Martin, would be solved.

"I’ve been told repeatedly, and I have all the letters, repeatedly told that number one my dad’s case is in no way related to the speed freak killer case,” Gillit said.

Instead, Gillit says the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department has given her the runaround since her dad’s 1993 disappearance.

She claims the department removed him from the missing person’s database.

"I found out that it was cancelled," Gillit explained.

Gillit told FOX40 she believes her father is gone, killed by the duo known as the Speed Freak Killers.

Loren Herzog and Wesley Shermatine were convicted in only four deaths.

“As I said during the campaign, you don’t know what you don’t know until you start getting into things,” San Joaquin County Sheriff-Elect Pat Withrow, explained.

Withrow says Gillit’s quest for answers – is now his and he now plans to reopen the Speed Freak Killers Case.

"By reopening the case, we’re saying, we’re going back and we’re taking a look and we’re going to do everything we possibly can to find every missing person that’s out there related to the Speed Freak Killers,” Withrow said.

He says the bones that were found in Linden will be reexamined -- adding he will work to make the sheriff’s department more transparent to build  better relationships with outside agencies.

"They did not get the answers that they needed from our department and we’re going to make sure that they do," Withrow said.

Gillit says she’s comforted in knowing her fight – is not her's alone.

"It just feels so comforting to finally have somebody that cares," Gillit explained.

FOX40 reached out to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, they say because the case is still open and they’re still investigating, they cannot comment further.

However, Withrow says he and his investigators will actively pursue leads.



Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.