On Thursday, October 20th, 2022, at about 8:50am, Atherton police officers responded to a residence in the 300 block of Stockbridge Avenue regarding a buried vehicle that was located during a landscaping project.
Due to the unknown nature of why the vehicle was buried, cadaver dogs were called to the scene. The cadaver dogs made a slight notification of possible human remains. The San Mateo Crime Lab was contacted and sent technicians to assist with excavating the vehicle. At about 10:00pm on October 20th, crime scene technicians stopped working for the night. On October 21st, at about 8:00am, crime scene technicians resumed excavating the vehicle. The majority of the passenger compartment of the vehicle has been excavated. On October 21st, at about 11:00am, a cadaver dog was brought back to the scene. The cadaver dog again made a slight notification of possible human remains.
On Saturday, October 22nd, the vehicle was removed from the property by tow truck and was transported to the San Mateo County Crime Lab for further inspection and processing. After the car was removed, a cadaver dog was brought back to the scene. The cadaver dog again made notification of possible human remains. Further excavation of the scene did not reveal the presence of any human remains.
On Sunday, October 23rd, ground penetrating radar was used to examine the scene. This examination did not reveal anything unusual or suspicious at the scene and no human remains were located. This concluded our on-scene investigation.
The vehicle was possibly buried sometime in the 1990’s and was buried approximately 4 – 5 feet into the ground. There were unused bags of concrete throughout the vehicle. The vehicle is a Mercedes Benz and was reported as stolen to the Palo Alto Police Department in September of 1992. The possible owner of the vehicle is believed to be deceased. We are waiting for DMV records that are being retrieved in the DMV archives.
The vehicle was buried before the current homeowner occupied the home.
The motive and circumstances surrounding this incident continue to be under investigation.
No additional information is available at this time.
Steven D McCulley
Chief of Police