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Q: Murder of Teresa Ellen Buckwitz ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Murder of Teresa Ellen Buckwitz
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: elisjo-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 20 Jun 2004 10:26 PDT
Expires: 20 Jul 2004 10:26 PDT
Question ID: 363613
I am researching the murder of Teresa Buckwitz in 1990. Her body was
found in Lenwood CA, a town near Barstow. I believe it was handled by
San Bernardino County sherrif's dept. Has it been solved? Is it a "cold case"?
Buckwitz may be spelled with a ch. Lenwood may be Linwood. Her
husband's name was James Buckwitz.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 20 Jun 2004 13:13 PDT
According to a 1998 newspaper article, this was still an unsolved
murder at the time.

I have contacted the San Bernardino Sherrif's office for an update on
the case, and will let you know what I learn.


Clarification of Question by elisjo-ga on 22 Jun 2004 09:54 PDT
I guess I want to know whatever there is to know, i.e. who were the
detectives on this case, when was there any activity on the case, who
were the suspects,
even activity that led nowhere, I'd still like to know. 
The victim was my cousin, I'd like to have the murder solved to bring
closure for  her mother who is 87 years old. We're thinking of hiring
a private investigator who could do an in depth investigation, go back
and interview all
the major players. 
My cousin worked for Foster medical supply, she delivered products to
business out in the Barstow area. She was found in her work van. Are
any of these questions you could answer through a search?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 22 Jun 2004 14:38 PDT

I am expecting a return phone call from the detective who is familiar
with this case -- perhaps today, although it may not happen that soon.

However, the person I've spoken to already made it quite clear that
department policy is to NOT give out any information on a case to a
non-family member.

It may turn out that the best I can offer is:

--a brief recap of the 1998 newspaper article I mentioned

--the current status of the case

--the contact information for the detective who is familiar with the case.

Should I post that information as an answer to your question?  

Of course, I'll add anything else that I can learn from speaking with
the detective, but as I've said, I don't expect them to be very
forthcoming.  However, you certainly may have better luck contacting
them yourself.

Let me know your thoughts on this.


Clarification of Question by elisjo-ga on 22 Jun 2004 22:34 PDT
Hello. Yes, please post whatever you get as tne answer to my question.
Thank you so much! elisjo
Subject: Re: Murder of Teresa Ellen Buckwitz
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 24 Jun 2004 14:47 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello elisojo, 

Thanks for hanging in with me on this one.  It's been a tough search.

As I suspected, the San Bernardino Sheriff's office was not
forthcoming.  In fact, the officer familiar with the case never even
returned my call.  However, a family member such as yourself may have
better luck, so I would urge you to contact them -- the contact
information is below.

However, the Sheriff's Office was able to confirm for me that the case
is still open.

In addition, I came across one article from 1998 that discussed the
case.  Oddly, I didn't find any 1990 accounts of the murder itself,
even though I searched in several different newspaper databases.  I'm
sure the case was reported in the newspapers at the time, but quite
possibly the articles did not make it into any of the commercially
available newspaper databases such as Lexis-Nexis.

The 1998 article was from the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, CA:


February 15, 1998 

Unsolved murder cases never over 
Evidence can deteriorate, witnesses may die, but years later 

police are always willing to pursue new leads.

...Theresa Buchwitz, 40, was found Dec. 6, 1990, on a dirt road near
Barstow with a gunshot wound to the head. San Bernardino County
sheriff's investigators said she was killed inside a van that she used
to deliver medical supplies. Detectives said she was working when she
was abducted and killed. On Dec. 27, 1990, investigators found her
clothes on a dirt road in the Helendale area, about 8 miles from where
the body was found. She was last seen with a white male with brown
hair, age from the mid-30s to early 40s. He was about 6 feet tall and
weighed between 225 and 250 pounds, last seen wearing Western-style
clothing.  Investigators believe robbery was the movtive for the


Note the spelling in the article of both the first and last names, as
they are different from the spellings you provided in your original

The contact information for the detective who I was put in touch with is:

Lt. Nealy
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office

Public Information:   909 387-3545
Homicide Direct line: 909 387-3589

The website for the Sheriff's Office is:


In addition, I came across one resource in the course of my searching
that I want to make you aware of.

The California Attorney General's office has a website listing of
unsolved crimes at:

The case you inquired about is NOT listed at the site.  But perhaps if
you contacted the  Investigative Support Crime Analysis Unit in the
AG's office, you could encourage them to include the case on the
website.  I would suggest starting with the Office of Victim Services,
which can be contacted at:



I wish there were additional information I could provide, but
hopefully these items will be enough to help you move forward on this.

If there is anything else I can do for you in the context of this
case, please don't hesitate to ask.  Just post a Request for
Clarification, and I'll do my best to provide whatever assistance I

Good luck.


search strategy:  Searched various newspaper databases for information
about the victim and the crime, and searched Google for [ California
unsolved crimes ].
elisjo-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you Pafalafa for doing a very thorough search. I was especially
impressed with your attempt to contact the detective who worked the
case. I hope to work with you again. elisjo

Subject: Re: Murder of Teresa Ellen Buckwitz
From: pafalafa-ga on 24 Jun 2004 20:18 PDT
Thanks elisjo...your comments meant a lot to me.

I really hope you find a path forward on all this.  If the spirit
moves you, come back to this question in a few weeks or months and
post an update.  I'll be notified automatically anytime new material
appears, so I'll be sure to see it.

Best of luck.


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