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UPDATED: Two searches, two false leads in search of suspected murder scene

La Salle County investigators combed the grounds of a former truck wash for the second time Wednesday morning and again came up empty-handed in their search for human remains.

Investigators recovered around 9 a.m. what they initially thought was a bone or bone fragment; but Sheriff Tom Templeton reported mid-afternoon the object turned out to be a rock.

Nevertheless, Templeton said he remains optimistic of recovering evidence to connect the site to a serial killer who claims to have buried a woman he murdered in 2005. Templeton said the statement provided by Dellmus Colvin, who’s serving life in an Ohio prison, was too detailed and plausible to dismiss out of hand.

Investigators have, however, come to the realization it may take time to exhaust the site and turn up any conclusive evidence. Wednesday’s false-alarm recovery comes a week after the recovery of a bone fragment that turned out to be from an animal, not a murdered woman.

“The fact of the matter is, it was a cow bone,” Templeton said. “There are no cattle around here, but coyotes are notorious for picking up bones and carrying them away to other locations.”

Despite the false leads so far, Templeton said he thinks there’s a good chance remains will eventually be recovered, and perhaps in autumn. The grounds of the truck wash are teeming with weeds and fall weather could thin out the vegetation and facilitate the next phase of the search.

The search was launched in late summer after the release of a podcast titled, “The Interstate Strangler,” featuring interviews of Colvin conducted by true-crime author Phil Chalmers. In it, Colvin breezily claimed to have killed one or two women a year – usually drug addicts or prostitutes – starting around 1983 and ending with his apprehension in 2005.

Local investigators tuned to a portion of the interview in which Colvin was asked which of his buried victims would most readily be found. He named La Salle and then described killing a woman he’s met at Flying J Travel Plaza and then burying her near an abandoned truck wash.

Colvin described the crime scene in such minute detail that police quickly pinpointed the truck wash located near the La Salle-Peru border and arranged for cadaver dogs to comb the grounds.

Chalmers has stated he’s convinced the Colvin is being truthful about the killing. So does Templeton, who is eager get to the bottom of the case and perhaps attach a name to the suspected victim.

“We can’t save her life, and that’s unfortunate,” Templeton said. “So it’s a recovery effort and not a search effort to bring back a live person. We’d be a lot more active it it were something like that were going on.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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