Search for murder victim

September 4,1983
Lamb Canyon, Southwest of Beaumont

ForwardReturn to IndexBack

By Rob Gardner

After a successful all night mission most SAR personnel like to catch some sleep. RMRU however, is trained to ask for more! When Rescue 1983-029 (see article) ended the team sacked-out at about 4:00 a.m. At 5:30 a.m. it was up and ready to go on Mission 1983-030.

There had already been a commitment to the Riverside Sheriff's Office, Banning Station, to start an early morning sweep in the Lamb Canyon area, at the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains.

The Mission was to locate the remains of a young woman who allegedly was murdered and then raped. The confessed perpetrator told law enforcement authorities details of the bizarre homicide, including the approximate location of the crime, and where the body of the victim was left. The perpetrator is in custody, out-of-state, for other murders. Having admitted to scores of murders, many had already been confirmed. The Sheriff's Office believed the confession story to this murder to be valid. By use of maps and details obtained from the alleged perpetrator investigators had narrowed the region of the crime down to about one square mile.

Due to the dangers of the terrain the Sheriff's Office had only conducted a superficial search for the victims body, and then contacted the RMRU for completion of a more thorough search.

Clue Number one was to look for a flat-topped boulder among a field of hundreds of huge look alike boulders.

Clue Number two was to find a woman's name which the alleged perpetrator wrote on the face of a boulder with spray paint, with the assistance of the homicide victim, over a year ago. As one might guess, there were names and symbols painted on many of the boulders.

WHAT IS IT? - RMRU members Mel Krug and Walt Walker enjoy a light hearted moment after locating an animal bone fragment as fellow member John Dew looks on. (photo by Jim Fairchild)Captain Canova of the Banning Sheriff's Station (RSO) was present during the entire search. There was a good turn-out of RMRU personnel, most of the men being held captive from the overdue hiker search (1983-029) completed just a few hours prior to this mission. The men paired off and searched the area, checking crevices, tops and bottoms of boulders, ravines, and drainage ditches.

The team was in good spirits, considering the hot temperatures and that most of the men had only gathered one or two hours of sleep in the past thirty-six hour period. It should be noted that Kevin Walker was especially chipper climbing about the boulders. Kevin had fallen asleep while talking and in the middle of his sentence when the team laid down for the 4:00 a.m. snooze just prior to this Mission.

The search continued for most of the day and was thorough. Numerous small mammal bones were found, however, no evidence of the homicide victim was located. The Sheriff's investigation continues.