Phillip Cabot Lloyd Martin

Martin, circa 1993; Wesley Shermantine; Loren Herzog

  • Missing Since 09/30/1993
  • Missing From Stockton, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 01/09/1946 (74)
  • Age 47 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'11, 165 pounds
  • Medical Conditions Martin has a history of drug abuse.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Martin was last seen in north Stockton, California on September 30, 1993. He failed to pick up his daughters from school that day and has never been heard from again. Martin was transient at the time of his disappearance, working as a carpenter and construction laborer and living in his car, a gold 1987 Chevrolet Celebrity. He was reported missing on October 11, 1993.

Wesley Howard Shermantine Jr. is a possible suspect in Martin's disappearance. He and Loren Joseph Herzog, the so-called "Speed Freak Killers," were arrested in 2000 and ultimately convicted of murdering several females in the 1980s and 1990s; authorities believe they had as many as fifteen victims. Photographs of both men are posted with this case summary.

Shermantine is on death row. Herzog's sentence was reduced from 78 years to 14 years after the court ruled his confession had been coerced. He was paroled in 2010 and then took his own life in January 2012, after he found out his former partner had begun cooperating with authorities and had offered to reveal the location of victims' bodies in exchange for a payment of $33,000.

Shermantine led investigators to the skeletal remains of Chevelle Wheeler and Cyndi Vanderheiden, who'd been missing since 1985 and 1998 respectively. He also pointed out an abandoned well in Linden, California that contained some 300 human bones and personal items.

Shermantine stated the well contains up to twenty victims. He blames Herzog for all the murders and says he only helped with disposing the bodies. Authorities are in the process of sorting out the contents of the well and attempting to identify the bones.

Martin's daughter stated her father had worked with Shermantine, and as a child she picked him out of a photo lineup. His daughter said she believed Martin, Shermantine and Herzog used drugs together.

Shermantine and Herzog are being investigated in other missing persons' cases, including Ruth Leamon, Michaela Garecht, Gayle Marks, Susan Bender and Sylvia Standly. Victims Kimberly Billy, a 19-year-old who disappeared in 1984, and Joann Hobson, a 16-year-old who disappeared in 1985, have already been identified.

Martin's case remains unsolved. Foul play is suspected.

Investigating Agency

  • San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department 209-468-4425

Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 1, 2013; two pictures and medical conditions added, details of disappearance updated.