Grave Dog Helps Find Phelan Body

Mammoth Police Sergeant Paul Dostie, whose grave-scent dog Buster jump started the recent search for additional Manson Family victims at the Barker Ranch, has made the news again.

No bodies were found at the Barker Ranch, but now Sgt. Dostie and Buster have helped investigators in San Bernardino find the remains of a woman missing since 2000.

KNBC in Southern California ran a story from San Bernardino County about the search for murder victim Kathryn Barrett. Barrett was presumed murdered after she went missing in June of 2000. After years of investigations but with no body found, detectives were able to put together a murder case against two men, Chris Tolliver and Guy Johnson.

On Friday, investigators digging near El Mirage, found a body that may end up being positively identified as the missing woman. San Bernardino County Deputy DA John Thomas explained that this was the fourth time investigators had excavated at this four acre site.

According to Thomas, last summer investigators brought in the heavy earth moving equipment and dug an entire two acres of land down four to six feet, but found only animal bones. Last week investigators again went to the site near Phelan with new information from an anonymous tip.

On Friday investigators found remains with a bullet wound in the skull and a spent cartridge.

With a complicated crime scene that included a goat pen that had come and gone since the body was buried, Deputy DA Thomas says the search was a team effort. By invitation, Sgt. Dostie and Buster helped investigators narrow down the search area. Thomas says that Buster was one of many tools investigators used to find these remains.

Other scientists from the Barker dig worked the site and holes were dug to eliminate areas as well.

The dogs and high tech science at the Barker Ranch turned up blank, but with this find at Phelan, Deputy DA Thomas says that he would call Sgt. Dostie again for future digs. He was really helpful, Thomas says.

 
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