Railroad Killer Helps Find Girl's Corpse

Convicted serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz led authorities Saturday to the skeletal remains of a teen-age girl, a day after admitting to authorities he killed her and her traveling companion three years ago.

Resendiz, 39, told Marion County Sheriff’s detectives during an interview in Texas that he killed Jesse Howell, 19, with a railroad air brake coupling and that he strangled Wendy Von Huben, 16, about eight hours later.

Howell’s body was found on March 23, 1997, on tracks running through Belleview — a central Florida town about halfway between Tampa and Jacksonville.

Gives Directions

Saturday, a search team following Resendiz’s directions found skeletal remains wrapped in a blanket and camouflage jacket about 15 miles to the south.

DNA taken from Von Huben’s family will be compared to the remains to help identify the body, Major Patti Lumpkin said.

Resendiz told Lumpkin and Detective Jeff Owens that the two teen-agers were the first of 11 people he has admitted to killing in Florida, Texas, Illinois and Kentucky. Most of the killings took place on or near railroad tracks.

Resendiz was sentenced to death in Texas two months ago for the 1998 murder of a Houston-area physician.

The Mexican drifter became the prime suspect in the Florida slayings early this year after Owens sent him a letter inquiring about Howell’s death and Von Huben’s disappearance. In a return letter, Resendiz said he killed a man and teen-age girl and gave investigators information about the slayings.

Resendiz told investigators he believed the couple were anti-Christians, Lumpkin said.