Search continues for body in landfill in Pittsburg


Police say Frederick Sales may be the fifth victim of a man who went on a murder spree, fueled by romantic jealousy. Hayward investigators believe Sales' body is buried somewhere in an acre of trash at the Keller Canyon Landfill in Pittsburg.

Twenty volunteers and three Hercules homicide investigators are still sifting through tons of trash hoping to find Sales.

Investigators believe that Sales was the victim of a murder spree by Efren Valdemoro that began Tuesday of last week. Hercules police believe that Valdemoro dumped Sales body in a trash bin that ended up at the landfill. Police say they did find one lead late Sunday.

"The only thing they have found is a piece of letterhead that had a Hercules address on it, but it's not related to this case," said Hercules police spokesperson Doreen Mathews.

It is not much, but it is enough to confirm they are searching in the right place

"The total amount of debris is estimated at 3,000 tons, so it is not flat, there are piles of trash and debris out there," Mathews said.

Matthews said searchers have to painstakingly search each scoop the bulldozer picks up.

"Each scoop is taking probably about 30 minutes to go through and that is why we are here again," said Mathews.

Police believe that Valdemoro killed his girlfriend Cindy Tran and Frederick's father, Ricardo Sales, in a jealous rage -- believing that one or both romanced his girlfriend.

Valdemoro was shot by police last week following a high speed chase. Valdemoro is also linked by Vallejo police to the killings of Marcaria Smart and Segundina Allen. Their decaying bodies were found in Allen's home, where Allen's husband Charles Rittenhouse was living at the time. Rittenhouse was arrested and is in jail for having large amounts of explosives in his home.

Investigators say the search will go on for at least two more day, the amount of time it will take them to search through each piece of trash that has gone through the landfil from Hercules of the course of a five-day period that investigators are focusing on.

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