SDMRT 2017 – : Ramona HR Search

SDMRT Operations Report (Limited Call-Out)

SDMRT 2017 – : Ramona HR Search Limited Call Out

18 Nov 2017

Submitted by John Hatala

SDMRT Responders:

  • Dennis Peck
  • Bill McNaul
  • Adam Kimmerly
  • John Hatala


Other responding organizations: SDSAR, canine, San Marcos Sheriff Dept (Sgt Duey), Medical Examiner, (4) Detectives; (24) total volunteer responders (SAR/SDMRT/canine) and approx (6) “uniformed” law enforcement.

Short Summary:

  • Type of callout: limited Tech/Canine
  • In-county San Diego
  • Type of search: Search for human remains (HR)
  • Location: vicinity Ramona landfill, Pama Rd
  • Earliest time of activity: limited e-mail callout on 11 Nov for 18 Nov search.
  • Operational periods: 0700 18 Nov—1200 18 Nov
  • Information about the subject:
    • Woman who was murdered and dismembered by husband in 2013 was reportedly discarded in the vicinity of the Ramona landfill along a steep roadside hill.
  • Any rescuers injured: no
  • Aircraft used: None

Descriptive Report

This was a follow up search from a HR search conducted in 2013 for the same subject in a slightly different area. The suspect was arrested in Tijuana and confessed to the murder, dismemberment, and discarding of the body parts of his wife in the vicinity of the Ramona landfill on Pama Rd. Recent cellular forensics and interviews led detectives to a new search area different from the one conducted in 2013. Tech 2 personnel were lowered along the roadway down a steep slope to conduct a HR search along a 200m stretch. Dog teams conducted searches where they could maneuver. Many bones were found, which the Medical Examiner (an anthropologist) determined to be all animal bones. No HR were found by canine or tech searchers.

Lessons learned/ suggestions for future operations

From Hatala: Always show up at a search assuming poison oak is prevalent and bring cheap rain gear (especially pants) as a deterrent in high poison oak density areas.

Secretary’s Note:

After extensive review of previous year’s search records, we are unable to determine the 2013 HR search reverenced above. It is possible SDMRT did not participate.