California police found a Mercedes car that was stolen in 1992
Despite the dogs, which authorities described as a “light alert for possible human remains,” police said no remains were found at the scene. The Mercedes convertible was stolen in 1992 in nearby Palo Alto. The car may have been buried on the property that decade, police said.
Police did not say who owned the car. They said they believe the owner is deceased, although they are awaiting confirmation from the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Police added that they believe the car was buried long before the current owners moved into the $15 million home. The owners called the police when landscapers made the discovery.
The owner of the home at the time the car was reported stolen in 1992 was Johnny Bocktyun Liu, who property records show sold the home in 2014. Liu had a criminal history and had spent time in prison after being convicted of murder and attempted murder.
So far, police have not confirmed the connection between Liu and the buried car. Lew built Atherton House in 1990. San Francisco Chronicle reports. His daughter Jacque Searle, 34, who once lived there with Liu and his mother, told the paper she was shocked to learn the car was buried on the property. His father died in 2015 while living in Washington state, he said.
Liu grew up in Hong Kong and worked as a police officer there before moving to the United States in 1959. according to court records. About two years later, he married his first cousin, Margaret, in South Carolina. The couple later moved to Southern California, where Liu attended El Camino Junior College and met Karen Gervase, the woman he would eventually be charged with murdering.
Liu and Gervasi were romantically involved in 1965, and Margarita learned of the affair, according to court records. That December, Gervasi was fatally shot in the head while at Lew’s apartment. Liu said Gervase accidentally shot him in the temple while he was pointing one of his guns, court records state. He was convicted of second degree murder and served time in prison. In 1968, the California Supreme Court overturned the convictionciting hearsay statements improperly admitted into evidence.
Less than a decade later, in 1977, Liu was convicted of two counts of attempted murder in a separate crime in Los Angeles County and spent three years in prison, the Chronicle reported.
In 1999, Liu was arrested again. Law enforcement officials said he paid undercover agents tens of thousands of dollars in cash and gold watches to sink a $1.2 million 56-foot twin-engine yacht to pocket the cash. The Chronicle reported at the time. The outcome of the case is not clear.
Searle told the Chronicle that he spent his early years visiting his father in prison and described his upbringing as dysfunctional.
“I feel like we all grew up with some trauma at home,” Searle told the paper.
And he said about the car found buried in his childhood yard.
The Mercedes was removed from the property over the weekend. KNTV reports. Atherton Police Chief. Daniel Larsen told reporters at a press conference on Friday that the cadaver dogs’ “light alert” of possible remains could have been a reaction to old bones, vomit or blood. He added that police had not yet determined whether their investigation was “criminal or non-criminal”.
When asked about Liu, Larsen said: “We have heard that name but have not confirmed through our sources that he actually owned the vehicle through the DMV.”
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