Treasure Hunters Society Of Santa Clara Valley Evidence Recovery Team Goes Into Action

By Tom Elliott

On or about January 29th, Club member Tom Tanner received a request from the Monterey County Sheriff's office in regards to helping them locate a very important piece of evidence that was buried some fifteen years ago in the hills behind the town of Salinas.

The crime was a homicide by shooting and at the time the Sheriff's office didn't have enough evidence to convict the suspect and the District Attorney's office wouldn't file against the suspect until further evidence was located. The suspect was recently booked into the Monterey County Sheriff's jail on an unrelated crime. The Sheriff's detective was able to obtain information of the whereabouts of the weapon that was used in the crime and where it was buried.

I can't at this time go into the aspects of the case or tell exactly where the weapon was buried until we get the OK from the Sheriff's office as it has something to do with further investigation and the trial. I can tell you that we had 21 Club Members along with 3 other detectorists that assisted the Sheriff's office in their search for the evidence on February 2, 2002. The following people and their assignment were; Tom Tanner: Club liaison to the Sheriff's office and communications to the search party.

The teams were divided up into 5 search areas and those areas were 30 yards by 100 yards each. Not more than 1 hour and 15 minutes into our search we got word from Tom Tanner that the weapon was found in (B) section.

We all went to see who found the evidence. When I arrived there I yelled out,"who found it?" you could tell by the guy that had a grin that went from ear to ear, and it was our very own Warren Whited.

Evidence Recovery Teams

Team Leader (A) Fred Schlichting
Warren VanSant
Bill Higgins
Mark Gringeri
Bob Reynolds
Team Leader (B) Sam Modrall
Warren Whited
Tom Jennings
Steve Chan
Team Leader (C) Jeff Kinzli (of the Kinzli Calif. metal detecting forum
Ralph Oksen (non member-volunteer)
Allen Wright (non member-volunteer)
Tom Franks
Team Leader (D) Al Woods
Rick Mora
Jack McMahan
Don Powell
Elliott Lothrop
Team Leader (E) Tom Elliott
Dale Newlin
Steve Flemmer
Diane Flemmer
David Snook

Congratulations to Warren Whited, and I want to thank all the volunteers that helped in the search. The volunteers were very positive and searched their areas as if the weapon was buried in their sections. Not only did they search their areas thoroughly but never complained about anything. I had several people who wanted to know if they could bring anything to help out in the search. It was a wonderful experience to see everyone pitch in and find this evidence. Tom Tanner got a phone call three days later from the Detectives and said that the evidence was in very good condition and that he wanted to thank all of the search party for their help. There will be a letter of thanks from the Sheriff in the near future.

Thomas Elliott, Vice President THS of SCV, Police Evidence Recovery Team Leader.