Law enforcement officials called off the search today for the remains of 16-year-old Roger Madison who was believed to be buried along the 23 Freeway at the Tierra Rejada Road offramp in Moorpark for the last 40 years.
Madison was a victim of child serial murderer Mack Ray Edwards.
The remains probably are buried beneath the 23 Freeway but cannot be recovered, announced the Los Angeles Police Department earlier today. There is speculation that Madison's remains are buried underneath the freeway and not on a dirt and grassy patch next to the freeway where four-cadaver dogs originally alerted to. The search, which started on Monday, had been concentrated along the 23 Freeway at the Tierra Rejada Road offramp, where a 12-foot-deep pit was excavated.
A memorial service was held at the site this morning.
The late serial killer, Edwards, was a heavy equipment operator who confessed to LAPD detectives in 1970 that he stabbed the Madison boy to death in an orange grove on December 14, 1968. The interchange of the 23 Freeway at Tierra Rejada Road is about 25 miles west of Sylmar, where Madison was last seen alive.
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The notorious Edwards, a married father of two adopted children, also admitted nearly 40 years ago to killing five other children, including one of his own relatives, between 1957 and 1968. But he was only charged with the murders of three, and some bodies were never found.
Edwards was never charged with the murder of Madison. He told police of the era that he didn't know exactly where on the 23 Freeway he dumped his body. Eerily, he later told a reporter that he did know the location but didn't divulge it because, the killer claimed, Madison's parents were poor and couldn't afford a burial.
Edwards committed suicide in 1971 while awaiting execution on San Quentin's Death Row. Police believe he may have been responsible for as many as 20 killings.
Over 20 FBI agents from the evidence response team, trained in identifying, collecting and preserving evidence, were on hand. Caltrans workers used a front-end loader to remove the top layer of soil; then forensic experts began digging with shovels, trowels and toothbrushes.