Sylvia Lourdes Standly

Standly, circa 1986; Wesley Shermantine; Loren Herzog

  • Missing Since 06/03/1986
  • Missing From Modesto, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race Hispanic
  • Date of Birth 06/19/1954 (65)
  • Age 31 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'7, 115 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic female. Light brown hair, hazel eyes. Standly has a V-shaped scar above her left knee and an appendectomy scar on her abdomen. She was missing two upper front teeth at the time of her 1986 disappearance. Standly may have a butterfly tattoo on her right hip. Her ears are pierced. Standly may use the last name Baca, and some accounts refer to her as Sylvia Baca Standly. Her last name may be spelled "Standley" by some agencies.

Details of Disappearance

Standly was last seen in Modesto, California on June 3, 1986. She completed a two-week sentence for a drug charge and was released from the Stanislaus County Women's Facility on Oakdale Road that day. She called her family and said she would get a ride home with her boyfriend. No one in her family had met the boyfriend or even knew his name.

Standly was last seen getting into a blue or green truck. She has never been heard from again. She left behind two children, including an eight-month-old infant.

Wesley Howard Shermantine Jr. and Loren Joseph Herzog, the so-called "Speed Freak Killers," are possible suspects in Standly's case. They 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.

Shermantine and Herzog are being investigated in other missing persons' cases, including Phillip Martin, Michaela GarechtSusan Bender, Gayle Marks and Ruth Leamon. 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.

Some agencies may list May 29, 1986 as the date of Standly's disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Modesto Police Department
  • 209-572-9532
  • 209-572-9500

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 24, 2012; three photos added, details of disappearance updated.